It was a dog of a day for the Cats on Saturday.
A 64-point deficit on the scoreline was not the only low point of the day for Mooroopna as it fell short of a slicker Tatura line-up.
Severe injuries to Kane Boyer and Kallyun Sanders further added to the injury woes for the Cats.
At the end of the second quarter Sanders lay on the field with suspected broken ribs after an opponent fell on him.
With a delayed start to the second half as the ambulance arrived, the already depleted Cats line-up would be struck again.
Boyer, who kicked two of the Cats’ four goals for the day, fell to the ground clutching his left knee 16 minutes into the final quarter.
Coach Dale Osborne said it was likely to a season-ending injury for Boyer.
‘‘He’s done his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) I reckon, so he’s gone for the season, from the pain he felt and from what guys are telling me, which is not good,’’ Osborne said.
‘‘It tests our depth; we had a lot of depth and injuries now are testing our depth.’’
Scoring becomes an even greater concern with power forward recruit Romain Grenville also out after injuring his ankle in round one.
The match belonged to the Dogs from the start with three unanswered goals on the board halfway through the first quarter.
Former Kyabram forward Andrew Ciavarella made an impact in the midfield, building on his impressive start for the game’s entirety.
As a drubbing looked likely at quarter-time, a Mooroopna goal to Boyer sent a resurgence through the Cats after skipper Trent Freer delivered the ball into the 50 in an attractive passage.
The midfield contest became a more even affair, but two late goals to Tatura undid Mooroopna’s work to get back into the game.
With Aidan Maher nailing a set shot, the margin was brought back out to three goals.
The Cats scored only one major in the second half, with Osborne lamenting his side’s effort.
‘‘Blokes aren’t prepared to do the hard yards. You can run one way, but if you don’t run the other way you’re going to get smashed and that’s what happened to us a lot during the game,” he said.
The home side pushed the scoreline back out in the third quarter, with Luke McGill important in bursting the game open.
Tatura playing coach Jamason Daniels has been impressed with McGill, who stepped into the captaincy role after long-term injuries to Tom Miller and Matt Ryan.
‘‘He’s just a really great bloke, he’ll do some really unrewarded things, but his talk and everything like that is great and today he worked really hard to get on the end of a couple,’’ he said.
Capitalising on loose men across the ground, clearances went all the way of the Bulldogs as the home side kept its opposition goalless in the final quarter.
‘‘We had a really good pre-season and that’s something that I need to keep pushing on the guys is that we are fit and we can run out games,’’ he said.
‘‘In the second half we had 14 marks inside 50, which just shows our structures are holding up and our forwards are moving well and we’re really jelling well together.’’
Tatura 4.3, 6.4, 10.7, 14.11 (95)
Mooroopna 0.3, 3.4, 4.7, 4.7 (31)
Lauren Bordin’s best
Tatura: Andrew Ciavarella, Mitch Elliott, Luke McGill, Sean Martin, Jaydan Thewma, Bradley Ryan.
Mooroopna: Trent Freer, Clint Riley, Ben Hicks, Kane Boyer, Bayden Fallon, Ryan Devine.
Tatura: Luke McGill 3, Aidan Maher 2, Zavier Ballis 2, Jaydan Thewma 2, Sean Martin 2, Colby McDonald, Chris Ryan, Mitch Elliott.
Mooroopna: Kane Boyer 2, Trent Herbert, Nathan Turner, Sean Martin.