Top Cats win but Ablett boys quiet

CAUGHT: Gary Ablett junior strikes some heavy traffic during Geelong's clash with Port Melbourne on Saturday. Photo: GEELONG ADVERTISER  
Monday, June 24

FANS expecting an Ablett extravaganza in the Geelong-Port Melbourne VFL clash at Skilled Stadium on Saturday were disappointed.

The Cats' Gary Ablett junior was joined on the field by his cousins, star Port full forward Ryan Ablett and Port on-baller Luke Ablett.

But the Abletts didn't get much opportunity to show their silky skills.

Cats defender Josh Hunt got on top of Ryan Ablett early, and the goal-kicking star was held goalless in Port's 31-point loss to Geelong.

Cats coach Ron Watt said both camps had obviously done their homework well on Gary Ablett and Luke Ablett.

``Both had little bearing on the match and both oppositions were able to shut them down,'' Watt said.

But Watt was pleased with the form of the Cats, who are now two games clear in the top four on the VFL ladder.

With Geelong's AFL team enjoying a rest during the split round, a larger than usual crowd turned out to see the young Cats show their talents.

``It's good entertainment, the team has been playing some pretty good footy,'' Watt said of the Cats who have won nine of 11 matches this season.

``Experienced players like Tim McGrath, David Mensch and James Rahilly are helping the younger ones along,'' Watt said.

``Rahilly played really well on one of Port Melbourne's danger players in Brett Kirk.

``Mensch was again in great form in the forward line, kicking four goals and Matt McCarthy, a 20-year-old player from Old Xaverians, kicked four goals from centre half forward.''

Watt said Andrew Carrazzo, who will attend the tribunal as a witness after a Port player was reported for striking, had a few different jobs during the game.

``The match was a real contest, we were a fraction rusty early but we kicked away in the third quarter,'' Watt said.

``Adam Chatfield got on top and James Bartel and Steve Johnson also had good games.

``And it was pleasing to see Will Slade and David Johnson playing well after having missed so much through injury.''

Johnson returned from an ankle injury.

The VFL Cats play Coburg next week.

At this stage, the match is on Saturday at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to Geelong's AFL clash with Richmond.