CATS CELEBRATE NEW STAND WITH A WIN
GEELONG's new 'eastern stand' was officially opened last Sunday, on a sunny autumn day. The team didn't let their fans down, although the match was relatively uninspiring. The thirty-five point win gives the Cats a four-two record after six rounds, and leaves them in fifth position on the ladder. Geelong plays third placed St Kilda, also with four wins and minus spearhead Fraser Gherig, this Saturday afternoon at Telstra Dome.
The match was fairly even up until half time. In the first quarter, the Dogs jumped to a small lead but the Cats kicked a few in time on to be two goals four behinds up at quarter time. Captain Luke Darcy went down with a terrible, season ending injury in front of goal.
In the second quarter the locals (myself included) were a bit restless, with the Bulldogs jumping out to an early lead. Once more the Cats bounced back to lead by just nine point at half time. The half saw the Cats kick eight goals and eight behinds, to the Bulldogs' seven goals three behinds.
The Bulldogs were simply too negative for the rest of the match to have any real chance. In the third term, while kicking to the Hickey stand end, their entire forward line flooded back into Geelong's half of the ground. Players like Matthew Scarlett and Jarad Rooke stayed back in 'our' defensive half and quickly rebounded back any Bulldog charge up forward. The Bulldogs simply had nowhere to go once they finally gained posession. (Wonder what Andy D had to say?)
Geelong never looked in danger of losing the match after half time, and strolled to a near six goal win. Kent Kingsley finished with two, after kicking five bags of three in the first five rounds. Paul Chapman continued his good start to the year with three; Brad Ottens, Steve Johnson and Peter Riccardi the other multiple goalkickers with two each.
Jarad Rooke contributed throughout the match, in his 50th game. For a player presumably not being paid as much as some of his teammates, he gave his all and thoroughly deserves his spot in the team.
Gary Ablett played quite well but missed a couple sitters in front of goal. Joel Corey has been a ball magnet this season, and Sunday was no different. Midfield colleague Jimmy 'Don't call me James' Bartel also put in hard. James Kelly got a bit of the ball but needs to work on his disposal and put more thought into who he passes the ball to.
In the backline Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley had fantastic games, after a (relatively) slow start to the season. With a blockbuster against the Saints this Saturday at the Telstra Dome, this is just what the doctor ordered for the Cats.
NEW STAND / OTHER 'NEW' STUFF
I noticed the old guys at the south-east gate having several attempts at scanning each membership card. I am certain he actually gave up after three or four attempts on mine and just let me through.
The view is very good, with absolutely nothing impeded. I also like the fact that you can stand behind the main seats and get an even better view of the game, if standing in a line for a beer or getting out of the rain.
I found the seats a bit smaller than the old (non-folding) ones in the same location. But they still seemed as good or better than those at the Phone Dome or MCG.
But (unfortunately) my father is sitting next to a 20 year old kid who must weigh in at 150 kay gees, who cannot keep his legs inside his own seat as his thighs are simply too big. Hopefully he borrowed somebody's ticket as I don't know if I can put up with this for the next five years. The knock on effect was of course my old man shoving over into MY seat.
The PA system was obviously not working properly but that can be easily fixed I'd say.
Access to food and toilets is light years ahead of what we used to have - we had to wade through the crowd back to the northern end of the ground.
All in all I found it (the new stand) a good experience.
Unfortunately the Victoria Police did not turn up and control traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) after the game and it is very lucky nobody was either hit by a car or started some sort of fight with a driver.
GEELONG: 6.4, 8.8, 12.11, 16.12 (108)
In the VFL curtain raiser, Werribee snuffed out the Cats with a barrage of goals in the final quarter, to win by fifty-four points. This Sunday the Cats travel to Frankston.
WERRIBEE 7.6 8.9 12.13 17.16 (118) DEFEATED
GOALS: :WERRIBEE: Bowden 4, Podsiadly
3, Allan, E. Darcy, Ray 2, Robbins, Skipper, Foss, Koops GEELONG:
Haynes, Mackie 2, D. Byrne, Koulouriotis, Lonergan, Blake, Batchelor
NEW STAND AS SEEN FROM BAY A-9
KENT KINGSLEY KICKED THIS GOAL IN THE FINAL QUARTER