CATS BELTED BY SWANS; KIEREN JACK CELEBRATES MILESTONE
AFL 2016 ROUND 16: GEELONG CATS V SYDNEY SWANS WELL, that didn't turn out too good. Several days ago, five in fact, Geelong copped a belting at home at the hands of the Sydney Swans- it's taken a few days for us to bring outselves to tap out this match report- better do it when the blood's a bit colder they say! How the mighty have fallen; three weeks ago the Cats were on top of the ladder after knocking off top six sides GWS, North Melbourne and the Bulldogs in three weeks now after back-to-back losses to St Kilda and now Sydney the Cats are in sixth spot, equal on wins with four other sides and behind West Coast on percentage- the latter the bigger story, Geelong having led the league for most of the season on percentage.
Geelong won the toss but kicked to the 'Belmont Watchhouse' or Barwon River end, which this season has not been the scoring end. Sydney came out of the gates with captain Kieren Jack fittingly kicking the opening goal- the 'family feud' publicity in the lead up to his 200th game proving no issue as he finished with three goals for the night. Sydney kicked the first three goals of the match before the Cats steadied midway through the opening quarter. Sydney answered back almost immediately before the Cats held their own for the next ten minutes kicking two goals, trailing by five points at quarter time.
Geelong snatched the lead inside the first couple minutes of the second quarter but it was another six minutes before their second, jumping to a handy 11 point lead. But it was short-lived, and the Cats' final score for the quarter as the home fans and the home players watched the Swans bang home three unanswered goals for a fifteen point lead at the main break- not huge but the gulf in the two sides was ominous.
From there on it did not get any better. Geelong fans (like us) in the Hickey Stand were quite livid at times with very questionable umpiring calls- not sure if that would have made much difference however the Cats were so poor and the Swans the opposite. Sydney outscored Geelong four goals to two in the third and final quarters, finishing 38 points ahead when the final siren mercifully rang out. As mentioned the loss leaves the Cats in sixth position with seven matches to go in the home and away season- the first of them against Fremantle at Subiaco this Friday night.
You have to question some of the selection decisions leading up to this round- Shane Kersten who has not done a lot wrong and done plenty right over the past month was dropped along with Rhys Stanley, the inclusions being Mitch Clark and Nakia Cockatoo. Cockatoo had a terrific game by the way and if he does not hold his spot we'll be livid. The other ommitte was Cory Gregson who was replaced by Darcy Lang- Gregson's been pretty hopeless while Lang was lukewarm, we'd rather have retained Kersten who had a good game in the VFL kicking four goals.
Clark was in the news in the past 24 hours after news emerged of some on-field sledging from Clark to Box Hill Hawks player Teia Miles about the latter's sister- who happens to be Mitch Duncan's girlfriend; the pair of them of course are the children of former Geelong player and Barwon Heads identity Geoff Miles. Ugly stuff and hardly what happy teams are made of. The matter is supposedly closed although coach Chris Scott said he was not aware of it until the news broke yesterday, make of that what you will.
Barring injury Jimmy Bartel is set to play his 300th game in round 18 against Adelaide at home- the Cats will hope to be heading into that game off a win in the West. In the same game Corey Enright, should he travel to the West to play Fremantle, will become the club's equal highest games player- matching Ian Nankervis on 325 games.
7.4, 11.7, 15.8 (98) DEFEATED
Brendan Hosking, Simon Meredith, Shane McInerney EM: Shane Stewart
CROWD: 24,399 at Simonds Stadium, Kardinia Park, Geelong
KIEREN JACK PLAYED HIS 200TH GAME