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Match Report: Dogs collared by Cats

May 19, 2017 10:40 PM

Match Highlights: Geelong v Bulldogs (Rd9) Replay all the highlights from the Western Bulldogs' Friday night clash against Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

GEELONG has withstood a barnstorming second-half comeback from the Western Bulldogs to snap a three-game losing streak and claim a 23-point win in a thrilling game at Simonds Stadium on Friday night.

Needing a victory to recalibrate a season that was fast detouring off course, the Cats responded to a week of scrutiny with vigour and zeal to hold off the fast-finishing Bulldogs, 16.8 (104) to 12.9 (81)

Challenged to lift its physicality after a "disgraceful" tackling effort against Essendon last week, Geelong's players signalled their intent against the Dogs by laying 28 tackles in the first quarter alone.

Full match coverage and stats

The Cats eventually finished with 134 tackles to the Bulldogs' 104, as they built their win around pressure and resilience.

Despite playing with sore ribs, Patrick Dangerfield returned to his brilliant best, racking up a game-high 36 disposals, 12 tackles, 10 clearances and booting four goals.

Cats skipper Joel Selwood (29 touches and 11 clearances) epitomised the Cats' steely attitude, willing himself from contest to contest, while younger brother Scott Selwood (17 disposals and 17 tackles) was equally committed in his first game of the season following a toe injury.

The much-scutinised move of Harry Taylor to the forward line finally paid dividends, with the All Australian defender booting five goals.

For the first half at least, the Cats played with a spirit and relentlessness they have not possessed so far this season, with their pressure around the ball and much sounder defensive structures (they yielded just four inside 50s in the second term) creating a 26-point half-time lead.

But after a first half they would rather forget, the Bulldogs stormed back into the contest by kicking six goals to Geelong's one in the third term and snatched a nine-point lead at three-quarter time.

Returning from a broken leg suffered in round 18 last season, Bulldogs midfielder Mitch Wallis was outstanding during the Cats' first-half onslaught and in his side's second-half revival.

The tough onballer finished with 26 disposals and two goals, both of which came as the Bulldogs charged back into the game in the third term.

Jack Redpath came to life in the second half by kicking two important majors in the third term, while Jason Johannisen's drive from half-back, as the Bulldogs' defenders began to intercept the footy higher up the ground, proved crucial.

Caleb Daniel (28 disposals) and Bob Murphy (25 touches) were also strong contributors for the Dogs.

GEELONG                   3.0   8.5   9.5   16.8 (104)
WESTERN BULLDOGS  4.3   4.3   10.8   12.9 (81)

Geelong: Taylor 5, Dangerfield 4, Menzel 2, Blicavs, Tuohy, Hawkins, J.Selwood, S.Selwood,
Western Bulldogs: Smith 2, Redpath 2, Wallis 2, Dickson 2, Boyd 2, Webb, Cloke 

Geelong: J.Selwood, Duncan, Dangerfield, S.Selwood, Stewart, Taylor,
Western Bulldogs: Wallis, Daniel, Jong, Murphy, Macrae, Dale 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Williamson, Jeffery, McInerney

Official crowd: 30,275 at Simonds Stadium