FORTRESS BREACHED; DOCKERS DEFEAT
CATS AND EARN HOME PRELIM FINAL
AFL FINALS 2013 GEELONG CATS V FREMANTLE DOCKERS THE FREMANTLE DOCKERS defeated Geelong at Simonds Stadium today in something of an upset. The Dockers were as good as the Cats bad, playing much better and cleaner footy from the get go. Zac Dawson was reported for a whack on James Podsiadly before the opening bounce and awarded a free kick 40m out from goal from which he could only score a behind - which turned out to be an omen as the Cats booted four goals six in the opening term. The Dockers only managed two goals five, but from then on proceeded to outscore the Cats in every quarter.
It was not a complete surprise for most who'd been there last week for the lucky escape against the Lions, though disappointing given the Cats usually respond after a 'wake up call' like that one. Good performers for the Cats included Jimmy Bartel and Joel Corey but on our score the likes of Joel Selwood, Travis Varcoe, James Kelly and Allen Christensen really struggled. The loss of Tom Hawkins before the bounce, celebrated by many, actually really hurt as James Podsiadly found himself the only effective marking target, Josh Walker having next to no influence on the game.
For the Dockers Michael Barlow booted three goals and certainly didn't surprise us given his performances this season, skipper Matthew Pavlich booted two and Stephen Hill the same. Hayden Ballantyne kicked just the one goal mercifully while fellow pest Ryan Crowley is likely to miss at least the preliminay and possibly the Grand Final after a whack on Steve Johnson in the first half, but certainly had the better of Matthew Stokes early on and stopped Johnson in his tracks. Crowley was moved onto Johnson after SJ's two first quarter goals.
The Dockers will play a home preliminay final at Subiaco Oval on Saturday 21 September, with the Hawks playing theirs at the MCG on the Friday. Geelong now plays the winner of Collingwood and Port Adelaide, likely this Friday night at the MCG. The Cats should regain Hawkins and Hunt but are likely to lose Corey Enright.
2.5, 7.9, 10.12, 12.15 (87) DEFEATED
REPORTS: Zac Dawson (Fremantle) for striking James Podsiadly before the game starting
FIELD: Matt Stevic (9) Troy Pannell (28)
Shane McInerney (30) EM: Chris Kamolins (19)
CROWD: 34,458 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 32 points"
7.11, 12.13, 14.16 (100) DEFEATED
CROWD: 6,000 at Simonds Stadium