White's career in the balance

Monday, May 27

GEELONG'S 19-point win against Werribee in the VFL came at a heavy cost, with Mitchell White breaking down again with a back-related hamstring injury in the second quarter.

The injury has plagued the 29-year-old's playing career since crossing from the West Coast Eagles two years ago and now throws his career in doubt.

White was troubled by the injury early in the season and missed the opening couple of matches after playing against Richmond in the Wizard Cup.

He returned to the seniors for the Brisbane clash at the Gabba on May 4 but the injury flared again.

``He was going along quite nicely and working into the game well,'' coach Ron Watt said.

Ruckman and captain for a day Peter Street sent a scare through the Geelong camp when he fell and looked to injure his knee but after a brief stint on the sidelines returned to play a part in the win.

Geelong went into the main break with a 26-point lead but let Werribee back into the game in the third quarter and trailed by four points at the last change.

``We were playing pretty good footy and then we dropped our standards a little bit and Werribee picked up in the third quarter and made up four or five goals and just nudged us out at three-quarter time,'' Watt said.

It was enough to spark Geelong into action.

``We've been in that position a couple of times this year against a couple of better teams in the Kangaroos and Box Hill,'' Watt said.

``We've thrown it away in the third quarter and couldn't come back but this time our boys really stood up and said we're not going to let this one go.''

James Rahilly, after a stint in the seniors last week against Port Adelaide, was among Geelong's best while Andrew Carrazzo continued to impress.

Watt also singled out veteran Tim McGrath who he said helped control the game from the half-back line.

``McGrath played a pretty good game across half-back. He was just really solid and helped us control the game, especially when it got tight,'' he said.

``It's good to have that kind of experience in the side on a regular basis.

``He's been terrific for the younger players, being able to lead them without assuming the role of captain.''

Charlie Gardiner played one of his best games for the year across the forward line and centre, booting four goals.