CATS THRASH DEMONS;
BOOK TICKETS TO SYDNEY
GEELONG, lead by Cameron 'MOOOOOOOOOONS!' Mooney, today thrashed a Melbourne side by nine goals on a cold and otherwise miserable afternoon in front of 65,000 punters at the MCG. The win was never really in doubt after the first ten minutes of play, the Demons looking nowhere near as potent as the previous two clashes this season. The Cats face the Swans at either the SCG or Telstra Stadium - the decision won't be made until Sunday night as the NRL (National Rugby League) has first dibs over Telstra Stadium.
The Cats kicked the first two goals of the game and in typical fashion should have had more - but they did steady and held a handy three goal lead at quarter time. In an intriguing and instantly successful coaching maneuver, the Cats started the game with an on ball brigade of Steven King, Cameron Mooney, Jarad Rooke and Darren 'Dasher' Milburn. This rotation was quickly chopped and change but the use of Mooney on the ball was once again a cunning move from coach Mark 'Bomber' Thompson.
Mooney stayed on the ball for most of the first half, relieving skipper Steven King in the ruck when required. His goal, winning the ball outright from a boundary throw-in and running into open goal, inspired his teammates shortly before quarter time.
Gary Ablett Junior was one of Geelong's best few. He had a hand in many goals and kicked three himself, along with fellow on-baller and 2001 draftee James Kelly. His roving goal late in the second quarter effectively had the fat lady singing, extending his side's lead to over thirty points for the first time in the match. After a seven goal to four quarter, Geelong took a six goal lead into half time.
Absent this time last year was James Kelly. Today, he kicked the opening goal and two others, but more importantly was a marking target all over the ground. After a promising start to the season, Kelly broke his leg against West Coast at Subiaco in Round 14 last season. He's played all twenty-three games this season and is back to his best at the right time of the year.
The third quarter was all Geelong. The heavens may have opened but that did not mean the Cats' skill would be diminished; in fact it became more apparent. In wet and slippery and downright miserable (at least for the Melbourne supporters) conditions the Cats kicked four goals three behinds while the Dees could only manage two behinds.
The final quarter was dangerous for the Cats as all they could do was get injured. Fortunately this didn't occur although a push and shove session in their forward line midway through could easily have developed into a melee. Geelong kicked the first two goals while Melbourne eventually bagged three more in 'junk time', the Cats ending up deserved fifty-five point winners.
Steven King will come under some scrutiny but will surely not be cited after a shocking accidental boot to his opposing No. 1 ruckman left Jeff White left with multiple facial fractures. However Steve Johnson is in real trouble after being cited for rough play during the opening term, coming minutes after he effectively cost the side a goal with a free kick reversal.
Josh Hunt deserves special mention. Most players, having had their appendix on the mantelpiece for barely two weeks would take their place in the Southern Stand with the other reserves, but not Hunt. His role on the wing playing on Aaron Davey was pivotal to the win. While Davey did get the ball a few times, each resulting in a goal, Hunt definitely had the better of 'Jack' Davey.
The back six, for most of the game consisting Matthew Scarlett, Tom Harley, veteran Brenton Sanderson, Darren Milburn, Matt Egan and Jimmy Bartel, blanketed their opposing numbers. Melbourne snuck through with the odd fortuitous goal but they were few and far between. In fact at one stage Geelong kicked nine unanswered goals. We've said it before, but Egan is the best thing to happen to the side this season, adding another tall dimension, freeing up Henry Playfair for the forward line.
Speaking of whom, big H was in fine form today, kicking two goals and providing a contest each time the ball came his way, giving the small(er) forwards the crumbs. Other forwards Kent Kingsley, Andrew Mackie, Charlie Gardiner and Nathan Ablett all had an impact at some stage.
Kane 'Turbo' Tenace had one of his best games for the club. He used his pace smartly, and didn't let it prevent him from disposing of the ball when the time was right. In the past speedy players have disengaged their brain when they engaged the pace, not so this Turbo.
Cameron Ling provided great leadership to go with his hard ball gets, something critics have said was missing at Geelong. Not today! Along with Bartel, Kelly, Rooke and Joel Corey, Ling owned the midfield today.
On face value Cats fans would be hoping the match be played at Homebush rather than the tiny (and unsuitable?) SCG. However Bomber Thompson knows better: his side has never played out west, and would prefer the known confines of the SCG. Bomber also wants at least a seven day break, playing Saturday afternoon or night, not this Friday night.
Tickets go on sale Monday morning for club members, Tuesday morning for AFL members and Wednesday for general public.
Flights go on sale RIGHT NOW - The Cattery recommends you steer clear of Jetstar unless you're built like Callista Flockhart.
Oh, and the final word: "ROBERT WALLS - YOU WERE WRONG!" (see below)
"THe Cats just dont inspire. If anyone, from coach, captain to playing group, is vibrant, upbeat, confident and enjoying the moment then they conceal it exceptionally well. Personnel-wise theres not much between the two. The main difference is that the Demons dare to win." - ROBERT WALLS, THE AGE, 3 SEPTEMBER 2005
GEELONG: 5.4, 12.5, 16.8, 18.8 (116) (EASILY)
2ND SEMI FINAL:
STEVEN KING, HENRY PLAYFAIR AND GARY ABLETT CELEBRATE THE WIN CLICK FOR 'FULL SIZED' IMAGE
A BRAVE JOSH HUNT, PLAYING JUST OVER TWO WEEKS AFTER HAVING HIS APPENDIX REMOVED, WAS A KEY TO THE VICTORY CLICK FOR 'FULL SIZED' IMAGE
ABLETT ONE SPECIAL SEASON
Sports Delivered/AFL Video are the official distributor of AFL videos (including DVDs).