Geelong Cats’ AFLW side will fight for pride in more ways than one when they take on the Lions at Hickey Park in Brisbane.
The Cats will be keen to rebound after copping a thrashing from North Melbourne at Kardinia Park last Sunday.
North Melbourne ruck Emma King tore the game open in the first quarter kicking three goals.
Geelong’s Maddie Boyd left the ground after copping a knee to her elbow early in the match and by the final break Geelong was still scoreless and trailing the ’Roos on 8.4.52.
Perhaps the only positives for Geelong were Olivia Purcell notching up 17 disposals and seven tackles and Aasta O’Connor kicking her first goal as a Cat with two minutes left in the game.
Less positively for O’Connor, she was charged with rough conduct over a dangerous tackle in the second quarter.
But she will not miss the Cats’ next match for the “low impact” incident.
The Cats had almost as many inside-50s as North (25 to 27), but failed to find targets taking just six marks up forward compared to the Kangaroo’s 12.
In a press conference following the match Geelong AFLW coach Paul Hood said the Cats would have to improve their ball use, marking and pressure against Brisbane.
Hood also stressed the importance of locking the ball in against the Lions, who scored a 29-point win over Richmond last Sunday.
“We need to be more stable behind the ball when [it] goes inside our forward 50 and we need to put more pressure on the opposition’s rebounding defenders so that we get a chance to catch up to the footy.”
The match is part of the AFLW’s pride round, which celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community’s contribution to the competition.
This week ahead of the game Rocky Cranston tried on Geelong’s pride guernsey, which she, Meg McDonald, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Georgie Rankin and the club’s pride supporter group helped design.
“I love it!” she said.
The guernsey includes the pride flag, the transgender flag and the word ‘yes’ in support of marriage equality.
Cranston stressed the importance of the club showing support for LGBTQIA+ fans and making them feel welcome.
Meanwhile, ruckman Darcy Fort has suffered a setback in his quest to break into the senior men’s side, reinjuring his knee.
The 28-year-old initially injured his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last October before injuring it again at training recently.
Geelong has locked in its sole pre-season Community Series match against Essendon at GMHBA Stadium on March 6 from 7.10pm.
The Cats’ VFL side will also recommence playing in 2021, after the league was called off last year due to COVID-19, with the AFL announcing the season will kick off on April 17.