CATS CULL YOUNG ROOS IN 70 POINT WIN
By Anrthony Jensen AFL 2009 ROUND 8 GEELONG CATS V NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS Geelong continued their unbeaten run this season, engaging cruise control after leading by 56 points at half time to finish with a comfortable victory over the youngest North Melbourne side fielded since 1992. The average age of the Kangas, already lower because of captain Brent Harvey's absence, may have dropped further due to the debut of youngster Sam Wright who snagged a goal in his first game, and the loss of classy stopper Brady Rawlings (calf), replaced in the selected side by another debutant in Nathan Grima.
Geelong lost a couple of old heads as well when Paul Chapman (back tightness) was replaced by Tom Lonergan who slotted into the backline allowing Max Rooke to push forward, and Darren Milburn took no further part in the game after rolling an ankle late in the first term.
Kicking into a 5 goal southerly, the Cats opened their account with a fine contested handball from Tom Hawkins, finding Travis Varoce who waltzed inside 50 and made no mistake. Varcoe would goal again only minutes later from an identical position, a trend that was imitated by Jimmy Bartel and Andrew Mackie, both getting 2 goals within as many minutes at different periods of the match.
David "Wojac" Wojcinski continues to play some of his best footy, at one point juggling the ball with one hand while fending off with the other, before getting knocked down to one knee but recovering to spear a handball out to James Kelly, who impressed onlookers with a game high 37 touches.
Joel Selwood paid no heed to risks of leather poisoning either, including by gathering a chain of 3 handballs before delivering a good old-fashioned shirt front to Ben "Rabs" Warren, who it must be said gave some hope to North fans with his incessant effort throughout the day.
In the second term big Cam Mooney got in on the shirtfront action, delivering a textbook specimen to Scott Thompson in the goal square. Thompson and co. flew the Kangas flag, but it was ex-Roo Mooney who had the last laugh as he found the ball 5 metres out, proceeding to launch a goal over the Gary Ablett terrace.
Wojac burnt a chasing North player and ran in to goal from just inside 50, and Mackie goaled twice from set shots by knowledgeable use of the strong breeze, and the Cats were nearly 10 goals up by the long break.
Along with Varcoe, Shannon Byrnes' name may well be in permanent ink on the Cats' team sheet instead of being pencilled-in on a weekly basis, finishing with 3 goals straight. One in particular in the third term, where Byrnes smothered a kick with his finger tips to cause a turnover, found space inside the arc and steadied to goal, showed that he is a confidence player capable of really adding something to this strong side.
Bartel also had a damaging day up forward, kicking 3 goals straight to go with his 34 touches.
With much of the sting taken out of the game in the last quarter and a half and the Kangaroos filling a few of the gaps that were opening up in the first half, the Cats didn't set the world on fire but coasted somewhat to a 70point victory.
Geelong face the Western Bulldogs in a home game at Etihad Stadium next Friday night.
5.3, 12.5, 15.9, 18.11 (119) DEFEATED
CROWD: 20,873 at Skilled Stadium, Geelong
PREMATCH ODDS: Cats $1.02 to $1.08; Roos $8.50 to $9.00
VFL NEWS - CATS PANTSED BY NORTH BALLARAT
KANGAROOS affiliated North Ballarat out-gunned Geelong in the VFL match curtain-raiser earlier in the day. James Podsiadly kicked another big bag of goals, his third bag of five or more so far this season.
3.4 9.8 12.8 17.9 (111) DEF
: J. Smith 3, J. Spolding 3, B. Driscoll 2, D. Chester 2, C. Jones 2,
M. Wundke 2, B. Goodes, W. Benjamin, T. Cartledge
: M. Sewell, B. Goodes, O. Stephenson, C. Garlett, C. Jones, T. Cartledge
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AFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON 2009, ROUND 8
GEELONG V NORTH MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 16 MAY 2009, 14:10 AEST
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