CATS TOO GOOD FOR ROOS, SHOOT TO TOP
OF AFL LADDER
By Ben Jensen GEELONG OUTCLASSED a determined but ultimately disappointing Kangaroos side at Skilled Stadium yesterday, running out sixty-nine point winners in AFL Round Two. For the Cats Kent Kingsley bagged a career-best eight goals, while Gary Ablett Junior chipped in with four.
Once again the crowd seemed low, 22,839, but it is difficult to comprehend many people could actually fit inside the stadium. The Geelong Football Club is working on plans for expansion in the near future, after concentrating on creature comforts the past ten years at the expense of actual capacity. With record membership and good form on the field, it is likely expansion will come sooner rather than later.
Shannon Byrnes, the pint-sized midfielder who burst out of the blocks this season, was a late withdrawal prior to the first bounce, and was replaced by Andrew Mackie. Mackie certainly took advantage of his good fortune, kicking two goals and more importantly playing one of his best matches for the club.
Kingsley missed his first shot at goal but after that kicked eight; he was rested briefly during each quarter and lead very well from the square, and even dished a couple goals off. Fellow returnee Steve Johnson, who was positively champing at the bit to play, was impressive, and combined well with partner in crime Mackie.
Geelong lead by just four goals at half time after letting the 'Roos back into the game for most of the second quarter. But after a half-time 'rev up' from both the coaching and playing groups, the Cats never let the Kangaroos back into the match. What followed was a seven goal to nil third quarter and four to three final term.
The only negative from the game has been unwanted attention on full back Matthew Scarlett, who was involved in several clashes with Kangaroo goalsneak Leigh Harding.
Will Slade, the elevated rookie who may lose the right to play AFL following round 7, continues to dominate clearances from the backline in a similar way to Darren Milburn in previous years. Indeed, my dear neighbor in the Hickey Stand calls him 'Millie' unaware of his true identity. Sources within the GFC insist there is no truth to the rumour Slade will do anything to ensure a place permanently, and that he is not being nicknamed 'Tonya' (as in Tonya Harding, who took out rival Nancy Kerrigan prior to the 1992 Winter Olympic Games).
Next Saturday Geelong again play at home, hosting a Hawthorn side that today lost to Collingwood. The selection panel will no doubt once again face some difficult decisions, however the VFL side was down this weekend, easily accounted for by new Kangaroos affiliate, the North Ballarat Roosters.
Match photos to come - stay tuned!
GEELONG: 6.3, 11.4, 18.6, 22.6
GEELONG 2.2 7.4 10.5 12.9 (81)
AFL ROUND 3
THE CROWD GOES WILD CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE
Sports Delivered/AFL Video are the official distributor of AFL videos (including DVDs)