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Dahlhaus, Rohan good for Cats in AFL

Geelong have completed their AFL pre-season campaign with an impressive 28-point win over Essendon.

Dahlhaus, Rohan good for Cats in AFL

Geelong have completed their AFL pre-season campaign with an impressive 28-point win over Essendon.

LUKE DAHLHAUS of the Bulldogs in action during the AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Western Bulldogs at UNSW Canberra Oval in Canberra, Australia.
LUKE DAHLHAUS of the Bulldogs in action during the AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Western Bulldogs at UNSW Canberra Oval in Canberra, Australia. Picture:Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Recruits Luke Dahlhaus and Gary Rohan lit up the Geelong attack as the impressive Cats downed Essendon by 28 points in the JLT Series match at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday night.

Ex-Western Bulldogs premiership star Dahlhaus was brought to Geelong in the off-season to improve their forward pressure, while former Sydney dasher Rohan's strongest suit has always been his blistering pace.


Both delivered big-time in the 15.11 (101) to 11.7 (73) win on a night when superstars Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield topped the stats sheets in a perfect final hitout ahead of their home and away season opener against Collingwood on March 22.

Dahlhaus finished with 25 possessions, including a brilliant no-look handball to set up Rohan for a goal early in the third quarter.

More importantly he had a game-high eight tackles.

Never a high-possession winner, Rohan was a model of efficiency, finishing with four goals from six kicks.

"It was really pleasing," said Geelong assistant coach Nigel Lappin.

"We identified that we needed to keep the ball in our forward half a little more.

"But it's more than just (Dahlhaus and Rohan).

"Yes, those guys were terrific but we've worked a lot as a whole team to make sure that when we get the ball inside 50 we can retain it inside 50."

Essendon's highest-profile off-season recruit, former Giant Dylan Shiel, was among the Bombers' best players with 25 disposals.

The visitors were also well served by skipper Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett.

Geelong jumped out of the blocks with the first three goals of the game to Esava Ratugolea, Brandan Parfitt and Rohan.

But the Bombers responded well with the next three majors to take a two-point lead into the first break.

The second quarter was a more one-sided affair with spearhead Tom Hawkins kicking two goals and Gary Ablett rounding out the half with his only goal on a night where he spent much of his time inside the forward 50m arc.

Geelong pushed the margin out to 40 points midway through the third term before the sting went out of the encounter, with both teams mostly going through the motions in the final quarter.

Dangerfield and Gary Ablett both sat out the majority of the fourth term, as did many of the Bombers' bigger names.

"There were patches in the game where we showed some really good signs and there were probably some patches in the game where we were under pressure and that's a credit to Geelong," said Essendon development coach Paul Corrigan.

Essendon kick off their home and away campaign away to GWS on March 24.

AAP


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