GEELONG ASSERTS SUPREMECY OVER MELBOURNE WITH MASSIVE WIN
By Anthony Jensen The floundering Demons were thoroughly out-classed by a devastatingly in form Geelong side in a water-logged Friday night match at the MCG. The Cats would run out 116 point winners in Melbourne’s biggest loss of the season, one where Geelong racked up 469 disposals – the most ever in any VFL or AFL match according to Champion Data.
GEELONG 8.5 12.7 19.10 24.13 (157) DEFEATED
CROWD: 34,610 at MCG
UMPIRES: Donlon, Kennedy, Ryan
INJURIES: Geelong:Nil Melbourne: Mark Jamar replaced in selected side by Jeff White
Gary Ablett returned from injury as Darren Milburn serves a one-week suspension for rough conduct against youngster Shane Edwards. Gazza was visibly limping at stages but didn’t appear otherwise hampered by the injury. Travis Varcoe made way for southpaw onballer Shannon Byrnes whom it must be said had a quiet night.
The Cats were the first to adapt to the onset of rain and Melbourne never recovered from the 8 goals to nil first quarter. James Kelly was amongst the Cats’ best early with 11 touches before quarter time and dished out more than his fair share of “don’t argues” throughout the encounter.
Joel Selwood was hard at the ball all night, showing true leadership as well as emergent pace in the midfield, and must have snagged some Brownlow votes as well as his 33 disposals. Matthew Scarlett was faultless with his disposal running off his opponent whereas Andrew Mackie again finished with 2 goals and is a real bonus for the Cats as a goal-scoring tall backman.
Mention must also be made of Mark Blake, who really stepped up to another level against veteran ruckman Jeff White. Blake took a strong contested mark on the wing, followed by a deft pass to Gary Ablett, and often won foot races to a loose ball against much smaller opponents. The lumbering big man even marked and goaled from 35m out and looks to be gearing up for a much more rewarding September than last year where he missed out on a Grand Final.
Harry Taylor was under the pump in the greasy conditions, copping both a blood lip and a cut above his eye. In the bloody process, “H” went through all 2 of his allocated special edition Geelong 150th celebration jumpers, and for the last 45 minutes was getting around in the rarely seen but highly sought after No. 85 guernsey. Such a high number in the blue and white has not been seen before, at least not since Andrew McArthur debuted for the VFL side wearing No. 67 in Round 19, 2007.
Mathew Stokes and Tom Lonergan contributed 4 goals apiece as the Cats proved their scoring doesn’t rely on Cam Mooney and Stevie Johnson who scored just 2 majors between them. Stokesy’s performance in particular stood out as one of the best of the night, using a complete repertoire of bananas, snaps and drop punts with the heavy ball.
The experience of Cameron Bruce and Bruce Green fighting to win the disputed ball failed to make up for Melbourne’s complete lack of a forward line. NAB Rising Star nominee for Round 7 Austin Wonaeamirri looked busy but had little impact, while fellow rookie Shane Valenti chipped in with 2 goals and continues to improve.
Milburn is available next week when Geelong takes on top 4 hopefuls Sydney on Saturday at Telstra Stadium, with selectors probably shaking their heads as to how they will also fit speedster David Wojcinski into the best 22.