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VFLW: Cats too strong

The Southern Saints were outmanned, outmuscled and outplayed by a dynamic Geelong Cats outfit. - St Kilda Saints,AFLW,Geelong Cats
The Southern Saints were outmanned, outmuscled and outplayed by a dynamic Geelong Cats outfit.
We should have been better. The game should have been closer.
Peta Searle

The Southern Saints suffered their second defeat in as many weeks, losing to Geelong by 38 points at Deakin University on Saturday afternoon.

Peta Searle’s side travelled west to face top-four side Geelong, who were desperately looking to break a losing streak.

But despite a promising opening term and a strong finish, the Southern Saints were left hurting as the Cats piled on six goals in the second and third quarters.

With Saints captain Georgia Walker out with injury, the team was admirably led by stand-in skipper Rhiannon Watt, but it was the Cats who drew first blood early through the returning Jordan Ivey.

The Saints responded midway through the quarter when Courteney Munn kicked truly before Geelong extended their lead with another goal before the end of the quarter.

READ: Searle adds another string to bow

A horror second term for the Saints saw the Cats pile on three unanswered goals to extend the lead out to 28 points at half-time, with the Saints unable to stop Geelong’s run through the middle.

The Cats added two more early in the third term before the Saints began to lift their pressure across the remainder of the quarter and limited Geelong’s attacking forays.

The Saints faced a 41-point deficit heading into the final quarter and consistent surges forward were proving frustratingly unrewarding.

Respite finally came through Saints forward Tara Bohanna, who coolly slotted a set shot in the 15th minute of the final quarter.

Following the loss, Saints head coach Peta Searle gathered her team on the field, where she spoke candidly to her players about the need to have higher expectations of their own standards.

“We should have been better. The game should have been closer,” Searle elaborated post-match.

“We got absolutely smashed in the fundamentals today; we couldn’t win our one-on-ones; we have our own standards, and the last two weeks we have played below them.

“The players need to re-evaluate, lift their standards and drive their skills development.”

READ: Arnell bolsters Southern Saints

Despite the loss, Searle said there were a number of young Saints whose positive individual efforts stood out.

“Ashleigh Allsopp had another solid game for a young kid,” Searle said.

“Jas Rolland played her first game back in a long time. She played in the backline and was one of our best players, and I thought Courteney Munn was outstanding … she was strong in the air.”

The Saints coach was also full of praise for stand-in captain Rhiannon Watts, calling the ruck an “outstanding leader”.

“She’s got a personality where people can approach her, and she’s very aware of where individuals are at,” she said.

“You can see when she is on the field everyone lifts around her. She is a captain waiting to happen.”

The Southern Saints return to Skybus Stadium on Sunday to host Melbourne Uni.

GEELONG                         2.1         5.5         7.6         8.7 (55)
SOUTHERN SAINTS        
1.1         1.1         1.1         2.5 (17)

Goals:   C. Munn, T. Bohanna
Best:     J. Rolland, C. Munn, R. Watt, A. Allsopp, J. Hull, A. Silver

NEXT UP

Southern Saints v Melbourne Uni
3pm Sunday 22 July, Skybus Stadium