CATS HIT THEIR STRAPS; TOO GOOD FOR
By Ben Jensen GEELONG were far too good for a lacklustre Carlton side in front of 32,096 punters at Telstra Dome this afternoon, the side thrashed by Adelaide to the tune of 92 points inflicting a similiar scoreline over the blues, winning by 77 points. Matthew McCarthy had just about the best come-back possible, booting five goals while Gary Ablett kicked four.
Although he nearly missed the game after running out of petrol on the drive to Melbourne from Geelong, star small forward / midfielder Gary Ablett Junior certainly wasn't short of energy in the first quarter, kicking three goals to give his side control of what was initially keenly fought contest. His second goal was the best, gathering the ball on the half back flank / wing area, he drew and opposition player before handpassing to Matthew Stokes, who in turn drew the attention of two players. Stokes then dished off to a waiting Ablett, who was able to sprint clear and slot the goal through with a kick from well outside fifty. Thankyou to whoever it was that gave little Gazza a lift to the nearest service station, enabling him to refuel his Mercedes and eventually make his way to the Dome.
Ablett remains Geelong's leading goalkicker for the season, with 32, eleven goals ahead of second placed Paul Chapman, on 21. Chapman was amongst the best and should be close to leading he best and fairest. Chapman was also late to the game, missing the team meeting along with Ablett, while travelling separately.
Big men Brad Ottens and Steven King were amoungst the best. Ottens' ruck work within the forward line was a feature of the game. Ottens setup a brilliant team goal to Matthew McCarthy in the final term, grabbing the ball from the ruck despite close attention from two Carlton players, instantly dishing off to a fast-running Chapman, who handpassed to an unmarked McCarthy waiting in the goalsquare.
Early in the game King was the leading possession getter, filling the link role excellently. Fellow leader Cameron Ling started off in his better suited tagging role, running with Nick Stevens, and picked up plenty of kicks in the process and never looked like chipping the ball sideways or backwards.
Cameron Mooney played a good game, bouncing back after his downer from last weekend at AAMI Stadium. Mooney kicked two goals but more importantly contested well, along with the other forwards, not allowing the Carlton backmen to rest for a moment. Fellow forward Andrew Mackie, who still has not cemented a spot in the AFL side, couldn't be faulted.
Brent Prismall looked at home, playing his second game, after suffering an unlucky break in the debut game in Round Five. Prismall kicked his first ever goal, and should retain his place in the side.
Jarad Rooke's fierce contests at the ball and the opposition players were a delight to Geelong supporters. While not named in the best, for mine he was in the top six. Brendan Fevola kicked four goals, two of them coming after Matthew Scarlett left the field for light treatment on his back.
Former Geelong rookie Andrew Carrazzo kicked and Ablett-like goal from the boundary, one that was instantly lauded as a 'goal of the year' contender. Carrazzo never played an official AFL game at Geelong after two seasons on the rookie / VFL list.
Geelong now has six wins and once more positive percentage - yet remains at least one game outside the eight, behind St Kilda, Richmond and Fremantle. Geelong plays Port Adelaide at Skilled Stadium next Sunday, followed by a 'home' game at Telstra Dome against the dangerous Western Bulldogs, another Sunday game. Carlton, with just two wins to their credit, remain second last, ahead of Essendon who amazingly still have only one win.
The VFL side play at Skilled Stadium tomorrow, starting favorites against the Box Hill Hawks. They may be short of goal-kicking power, having lost McCarthy and Mackie to the AFL side, in the place of Kent Kingsley and Nathan Ablett.
GEELONG: 5.0, 11.1, 17.2, 23.4 (142) DEFEATED