GEELONG DEFEATS HAWTHORN AS HAWKIWOBBLES
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery HAWTHORN HAWKS V GEELONG CATS GEELONG notched up a tenth win in a row over Hawthorn in front of 76,300 at the MCG, coming from five goals down in the second quarter to win by seven points, coincidentally the exact winning margin we tipped.
1.5, 5.7, 10.12, 13.15 (93) DEFEATED
Geelong lined up as selected, Hawthorn leaving Brian Lake out and bringing in emergency Max Bailey. Trent West lined up in the ruck with Mark Blicavs starting on the bench, along with Paul Chapman, Matthew Stokes and substitute George Horlin-Smith. Hawthorn had Luke Shiels, Norman Gunston, Shaun Burgoyne and sub Jed Anderson on theirs. The Geelong bench was soon called upon as Allen Christensen copped a flying boot from skipper Joel Selwood in the face, but he returned shortly thereafter.
The Cats were inaccurate early on as the Hawks slammed on four goals to one in the first quarter to trail by 16 points at the first break. Billie Smedts kicked the Cats' goal, the fourth of the match. Cyril Rioli, Luke Breust, Bradley Hill and Paul Puopolo kicking the Hawks'. Lance Franklin and Selwood had a bit of a run in, Franklin leaving the ground and limped into the rooms not long after with an apparent hamstring injury but was soon back on field.
For much of the second quarter it was the Hawks who had the yips in front of goal. But that didn't stop them leaping to just over a thirty point lead, the Cats looking out of sorts. But up stepped Tom Hawkins and Joel Selwood, both on the end of excellent play by Corey Enright and Paul Chapman. Chapman and Stokes had kicked the other two goals before the Hawks kicked three in a row. This gave the Cats fresh hope at half time, the Hawks' lead just 20 points.
At this stage The Cattery household decamped for the local playground, returning to a pleasant surprised with the Cats already one goal up thanks to Mitch Duncan and in time to see skipper Selwood slam home another, the lead now in single figures. Hawkins' next goal was a ripper, Selwood brilliant to set it up. Another couple behinds gave Geelong a one point lead, unthinkable just forty minutes earlier. Smedts' second pushed the lead out but it was short-lived, the Hawks drawing one back thanks to Shane Savage soon after, ending a sequence of six unanswered goals by the Cats.
Andrew Mackie decided he wanted in on the goal feast, banging home an absolute thumper even by his standards, bombing it home from no closer than sixty metres, the Cats by seven. Hawks skipper Sam Mitchell's goal two minutes from the three quarter time siren made it a two point game. The Cats seemingly in control now but the Hawks never dead as always.
Deciding to create another distraction to see what happened we got to vacuuming - first up just the two behinds but then a goal by Christensen who really celebrated, the Cats by 10. The J-Pod James Podsiadly made it two in a row and a 16 point lead just as we unplugged the vacuum in the lounge room, all hard surfaces done. The Hawks were now really starting to regret their kicking, another two behinds by them followed by a goal to Duncan. Varcoe worked a miracle to get it to Duncan, while the J-Pod performed what must have been his 100th shepherd goal through, Cats by 21 now with just under fourteen minutes elapsed.
Now, of course the rules dictate the result be under ten points thus Breust pinched one, followed five minutes later by Savage, back to an eight point ball game - still three minutes to go. Breust missed a chance to bring it to within one goal, the Cats skillfully running down the clock for the next two minutes to notch up a tenth win since the 2008 grand final.
Best afield was clearly Selwood but he had company, from both sides. Paul Chapman really showed his class and experience, as did Stokes, Mackie and Taylor. A word on Taylor - Jarryd Roughead did actually play, he just barely got near it. Corey Enright had a ripper - playing his 245th match.
For the Hawks Dream Team favourites Sam Mitchell, Grant Birchall, Brad Sewell and Paul Puopolo had a bit of the leather poisoning too. Savage and Breust, although only kicking two goals each, did so when their team needed it. And Josh Gibson, who has been bloody hopeless to put it mildly against the Cats in recent years, did a good job down back.
To return into the Cats' side at some point are Joel Corey, Steve Johnson, James Kelly and Josh Hunt; not a bad foursome to have waiting in the wings. The Hawks will be mad keen to get back Brian Lake for his first match at the club and of course skipper Luke Hodge and valuable Michael Osborne.
Next week Geelong play North Melbourne at Etihad on Sunday afternoon, a Geelong home game to be televised on Fox Footy while the VFL side have a week off.
Just a note on Joel Corey, who starred in the VFL on Sunday. Quite a bit of chatter on Twitter about the merits of him not being in the senior team. The Club said he felt underdone and chose to play a full game in the VFL to get match fitness while one source said he looked to have been affected by flu. On balance we back that decision.
FIELD: Matt Stevic,
Shane Stewart, Matthew Nichols EM: Ben Ryan
CROWD: 76,300 at MCG, Melbourne
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 7 points"
VFL ROUND 1
SUNDAY 31 MARCH 2013 14:00 AEST
VFL CATS OPEN SEASON
WITH A WIN
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG V WILLIAMSTOWN VFL Geelong's VFL side unfurled their 2012 premiership flag and had the perfect start to their premiership defence at Torquay yesterday.
1.6.12 5.10.40 9.15.69 12.16 (88) DEFEATED
CROWD: Unknown at Spring Creek Reserve, Torqua