CATS FAR TOO GOOD FOR POWER
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG CATS V PORT ADELAIDE POWER GEELONG easily accounted for Port Adelaide in their first Skilled Stadium home game for 2011, their 24th win there on the trot. Max Rooke made a lap of honour around the ground to huge cheers before the Cats ran out to a guard of honour of past greats. The first quarter was a bit scrappy in very windy conditions, the Cats though in front by seven points at the change. They struggled again in the five minutes following but from that point on slammed the gate shut on the Power, booting four unanswered goals to lead by twenty-nine points at half time. The third quarter bordered on a procession for the first ten minutes, the Cats putting paid to any suggestions of a Power come-back. The boys from Alberton did however kick three in a row to finish the quarter forty-three down. Dam Menzel kicked the opener to a huge reception, but that was nothing compared to the cheers Allen Christensen got when he kicked his maiden AFL goal (See Photo). In the end the Cats, as predicted, were simply too good for Port Adelaide, winners by just under eighty points.
The day started well enough for the Cattery trio I was a part of, my first game at Skilled since round 21 2007, when of course we didn't quite beat Port (but certainly made up for it a month later!) Followed the now traditional route to the game; drove down on the Saturday arvo and went out for a meal the night before at the Lord of the Isles Tavern, which is looking great after the renovations.
New experience for the other two also as we'd just moved seats from the Hickey Stand to the Premiers Stand; looked great on first inspection, our seats in the remaining sunshine and although only five rows back, very well elevated. We grabbed a reasonable-ish priced cappuccino each and got comfy for the game ahead. Allen Christensen was named 'sub' for the Cats, while former Geelong player Jason Davenport took the same role for the Power. Read on
2.6, 6.11, 11.14, 17.20 (122) DEFEATED
CROWD: 22,420 at Skilled Stadium, Geelong
Shane Stewart (10) Sam Hay (20) Stuart Wenn (22) EM: Matthew Leppard
THE CATTERY'S PRE-MATCH TIP? Cats by an absolute country mile; ten goals minimum, especially if Chad Cornes plays.
Max Rooke (below) was given a fantastic standing ovation by the crowd, carrying his daughter around in the back of a Ford ute. After he left the field, the Cats ran through their banner with a guard of honour made up of past players and officials such as Paul Couch, Ron Hovey, Tim McGrath, Barry Stoneham and currently locked-out NFL player Ben Graham. Earlier, the VFL side were trounced by Werribee 9.20 (74) to 6.10 (46). The game finally began and the Cats kicked to the Moorabool Street end, and what a scrappy quarter of footy it was. Geelong of course looked the better side to us, but didn't really kick clear until Dan Menzel booted his first of the day at the 27 minute mark to put the Cats up by seven points, as the scores remained at quarter time. Earlier Steve Johnson opened Geelong's goal account with an audacious left foot shot from the left-forward pocket running towards the boundary line; of course he (and everyone else in the stadium) backed him to kick it, and so it sailed through for full points if you didn't mind.
Quickly ducked out to grab my free Geelong member scarf; was a toss-up between it and the Cap, after the nanna-blankets ran out. Think I made the right choice! Returned to find the Cats in control but not quite managing a goal; the Power had one to Robbie Gray to bring the Power back to within a point; it was as close as they got however as the Cats went on a run of scoring behinds, Josh Hunt breaking the monotony with a beautiful shark on half-back, stepping around an opponent or two to slot it through from outside fifty (See photo below). The Cats kept Port scoreless from this point onward and finished the quarter with another three goals in quick succession, Paul Chapman booting one, Matty Stokes another and the ultimate crowd-pleaser Cameron Ling like Hunt slamming one home from downtown. Best so far was clearly James Kelly who was all over it, he had good company in Joel Selwood and the other Joel in Corey, while I thought Hunt was pretty damn good even if he did cough it up a few times. Scarlett didn't have a lot to do but kept things very tidy. Half-time score: Geelong 6.10 (46) Port Adelaide 5.7 (47)
Encountered the too-tall-too-described Dawson Simpson at half-time behind the Hickey stand, who according to my cousin from Sydney who I met a minute later said didn't look too good in the twos, and neither did Mark Blake. Hope Ottens doesn't go down this season, or we're stuffed! Cuz Neil had pretty much bought out the Cats Shops which will be good for the coffers; vowed to drop in there myself later on if there's any more of those 'heritage' hoodies left for just $45.
As we meandered back to our seats for the second half I missed the first goal from Chappy (his second) while the other two-thirds missed two, myself catching the J-Pod himself's ripper from fifty-five out giving the fans another opportunity to warm up. If the game wasn't already all but dead it was at the fifteen-minute mark after Ottens got into the act thirteen minutes in. Even our man Tom Hawkins got one; but finally Daniel Stewart got the 'Magna fan club' (as K-Rock called them) to their feet with a nice enough goal, soon matched by Mitch Duncan however, the margin back to around ten goals. Chad Cornes got a couple kicks, only one of them a goal, before young Hamish Hartlett took a very well-timed grab and goaled with three minutes to go (see photo below). The Cats led by fifty-three points at the final change.
We were really treated in the last quarter, the Cats kicking six goals to Port's one, to maintain interest in the match. Many of the Magna fans unfortunately appeared to duck off to the car park to get a move on, missing Robbie Gray's second, their only multiple-goalkicker of the day. Menzel and Duncan bagged their second of the day while Bartel booted two in a row inside two minutes to bring the crowd including at least one young lady from up the road to their feet. His second goal was a ripper, the smallest man in a four-way contest but somehow juggling a mark only to play on and slot it through from close-range (see photo right). The match's final goal came from Allen Christensen, who as mentioned earlier booted his first AFL goal in his second match. It was a jubilant bunch of teammates who mobbed him from all over the ground (see photo). And so the match eventually whimpered out, Geelong victors by a lazy seventy-nine points. Port Adelaide were outclassed but didn't give up and to their credit kept playing fairly and positively; just need a few years under Matthew Primus to toughen up a bit and hopefully (for them) recruit at least one of each: tall defender, tall forward and a tap ruckman to replace Josh Brogan.
Brad Ottens was great, not only in the ruck but all over the ground, his 2nd and 3rd efforts second to none. Kelly, Bartel and Selwood were the concensus best three, though we thought Josh Hunt deserved a mention in dispatches also. Joel Corey and Steve Johnson also saw a fair bit of the ball at either end of the ground. Harry Taylor was substituted for Christensen in the third quarter but wasn't reported as injured.
Had a cracking day down at Geelong with the family; six more home games to come and hopefully many more happy match reports.
MAX ROOKE SAYS FAREWELL
JOSH HUNT SLAMS HOME A GOAL FROM OUTSIDE FIFTY
ALLEN CHRISTENSEN IS MOBBED AFTER KICKING HIS FIRST EVER AFL GOAL
PAUL CHAPMAN [CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]
HAMISH HARTLETT TAKES A NICE GRAB [CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]
AFL 2011, ROUND 3
GEELONG V PORT ADELAIDE
SUNDAY 10 APRIL 2011 14:10 AEST
JAMES PODSIADLY OUTMARKS ALIPATE CARLILE [CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE]
MATCH REPORTS BY THE FOOTYALMANAC.COM.AU
'CHAPPY' By John Harms
CATS PURR WHILE THE DOG BARKS By Katherine Giese
BRAD OTTENS TAKES A STRONG GRAB
JIMMY BARTEL ONLY JUST MANAGED TO JUGGLE THIS GRAB, BUT FOOLED EVERYONE WHEN HE PLAYED ON FOR A GOAL [CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]
STEVE JOHNSON HAS A SHOT