GEELONG THUMPED BY ST KILDA; CATS ANDREW
MACKIE AND STEVE JOHNSON LOCKED UP FOLLOWING WILD NIGHT AT 'HOME HOUSE'
ON FRIDAY NIGHT St Kilda accounted for the Cats by just over forty points in front of forty-seven thousand punters, who witnessed an interesting affair. St Kilda could have won by a lot more had they kicked straight; however they were certainly helped by atrocious umpiring that seemed to go almost entirely their way. When the game was in the balance in the first half, the Saints received several free kicks up forward while the Cats had a hard time of it up their end.
Best for Geelong was Matthew Scarlett, who towelled St Kilda spearhead and league leading goalkicker Fraser Gherig all night, and rebounded many a Saint sortie towards their goal (the Saints kicked some thirteen goals, eighteen behinds). Joel Corey also had a good game, although almost without peers in this department.
The outcome couldn't have been worse for Geelong, with the loss of Corey Enright for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and probable loss of forward/midfielder Paul Chapman with a tight or torn hamstring. The way Enright left the field incensed Geelong and AFL fans alike. Limping away from a contest in the centre of the ground holding his shoulder, meat-head Aaron Hamill made a 'B-line' for him and 'tested out' the shoulder on Enright's behalf. Ironic, considering the outpouring of grief Hamill and teammates made after their own Nick Riewoldt was similarly dealt with during their round one loss to the Brisbane Lions at the GABBA.
Once more the Geelong forward line was a basket case. The only multiple goalkicker was James Kelly with two. Chapman started off all right but soon had to leave the field and did not return. Henry Playfair looks out of sorts, unable to hold a mark, and spent most of the match in defence. Brad Ottens could not take a mark and appeared lost at sea; Kent Kingsley kicked one goal with his first kick but from then on didn't get enough of it and kicked inaccurately; Ablett struggled to cope with the close attention his past form has attracted while David Haynes' form was encouraging and should maintain his spot.
Down back, the usually reliable Josh Hunt suffered from the worse case of the yips we've seen from him in many years and eventually had to be replaced by the likes of Enright, Darren Milburn and Brenton Sanderson kicking out from goal. Sanderson, brought in from the VFL to captain the team, spent most of the first half on the interchange bench and didn't show enough to keep his place in the side, should somebody else actually be fit to play. Matthew Egan continued to show that he'll keep a spot in the AFL for years to come.
Sitting in the same row as The Cattery was the injured Cats Steven King, Cameron Mooney, Andrew Mackie, Tom Harley, David Johnson and several others. Unfortunately most of them didn't seem at all interested in the game or display much emotion.
ST KILDA: 5.1, 7.7, 9.14, 13.18 (96) DEFEATED
GOALS ST KILDA: Hamill 4, Riewoldt
3, Voss, Koschitzke, Dal Santo, Gehrig, Jones, Milne
TROUBLE FOR YOUNG CATS
Following Friday night's loss, forwards Steve Johnson and Andrew Mackie found themselves in the middle of a 'brawl' at the not-so-popular Geelong nightspot, Home House. Both were apparently charged with being drunk and disorderly and taken to the Geelong police station. Mackie was released soon after, while Johnson was given a few hours in the cooler.
Mackie reportedly charged at a police officer, screaming 'take a shot at the title'. What title Mackie apparently has to take is currently the matter of intense debate, having struggled for a place in the AFL and without significant performances at VFL level over the past few months.
Johnson's latest drama is not an isolated incident. The boy from Wangaratta broke his ankle in December 2002 (at the farewell of one time great white hope Mitchell White) after being ejected from the Torquay Hotel. Johnson attempted to do a 'Max Walker' and get back in by climbing the fence; alas he fell and broke his ankle. Johnson's pre-season was ruined and while having a very good second half of season 2004, the ankle has troubled him for most of this season.
BATTLE FOR EIGHTH SPOT
Both Geelong and their round twenty opponents, Melbourne, have both taken on problem child symptoms since both being ladder leaders and premiership contender back in round 10. Melbourne has now lost nine matches in a row to be nine wins and ten losses, while the Cats have lost the last three for ten wins, nine losses.
ANOTHER LOSS IN VFL - THREE GOALS TO NATHAN ABLETT
WERRIBEE 7.3 13.5 16.8 22.12 (144) DEFEATED
GEELONG: Byrne 4 Torney 3 Ablett 3 Batchelor Cook Thurley O'Brien
STEVE JOHNSON WRESTLES WITH RICHMOND'S JOEL BOWDEN LAST SEASON
ANDREW MACKIE IN HAPPIER TIMES