CATS PROVE NO. 1 IN AFL WITH WIN CRUSHING OVER BRISBANE
Justin Kremmer 17 June 2007
By Justin Kremmer AFL ROUND 12 GEELONG V BRISBANE
THE CATS proved their top position on the AFL ladder today in a blistering
finish against the Brisbane Lions in front of a home crowd of just over
20,000, stretching their winning
streak to seven.
GEELONG 1.4 4.8 6.11 12.13 (85) DEFEATED
BRISBANE LIONS 0.2 0.4 4.5 5.5 (35)
GEELONG: S Johnson 3, J Bartel, A Mackie, T Varcoe, C Mooney,
N Ablett, M Stokes, G Ablett, P Chapman, D Wojcinski
BRISBANE LIONS: J Brown 2, R Hadley, J Patfull, J MacDonald
GEELONG: G Ablett, J Selwood, S Johnson, M Egan, J Bartel, M
BRISBANE LIONS: J Drummond, N Lappin, J Brennan, J Brown, M Rischitelli,
With heavy rainfall leading up to the match, it was always going to
be scrappy. However with respected clubman, Darren Milburn playing his
200th game and Tom Lonergan's return to football as the curtain-raiser,
the Cats were inspired to play well from the very start.
And that's how they played, winning by 50 points over a classy and keen
but inexperienced Brisbane young team. Age and retirements, trades and
injuries are all responsible for the deterioration of a successful triple-Premiership
era. Premiership players from the once-dominant side in the competition
are becoming fewer through time. Geelong, however, has a clear memory
of the times they were on the receiving end of a powerhouse Brisbane
demolition. Keen to make amends and rewrite history, the Cats are currently
in the process of working towards a Geelong epoch and were looking flash
coming into the game with important wins under the belt.
The battle was on as rain continued early in the match forcing players
to adjust to the wet conditions where precision football was a big no-no.
Hard work and long-kicking became the keys to winning the ball up forward.
The Cats worked tremendously well in this area with 18-year-old Joel
Selwood, who came in for Max (formerly known as, Jarad) Rooke, out-showed
older brother Troy and starred as one of Geelong's major ball-winners
(27 touches) in yet another strong performance from the mature teenager.
Although low-scoring the Cats dominated the first half, leading 4.8
to 0.4 at the middle break - the Lions' second-lowest half time score
in their history - but it very easily could have been more had it not
have been for some poor execution by the Cats' forwards. Cam Mooney,
Steve Johnson and Nathan Ablett all missed set shots usually almost
'gimmes' in drier conditions. Nigel Lappin and Josh Drummond provided
the only hope in the midfield for Brisbane as they tried their best
to fight back. But the going was tough.
Gary Ablett was brilliant again in another memorable best on ground
effort, gathering a career-best 35 touches and one goal. A star performance
by Cameron Ling, who kept Brownlow Medallist, Simon Black to a quiet
nine possessions, was able to push forward himself, further increasing
his chances of becoming an All-Australian in 2007. Jimmy Bartel was
excellent and had plenty of support from Paul Chapman, James Kelly and
Joel Corey who were solid contributors to the hard working midfield.
Taking some strong grabs up forward, Nathan Ablett made up for missing
a gettable goal by marking again with strong hands 25 metres out directly
in front. This time he was able to convert. Mooney was also a forward
key target for the Cats' midfield to kick to and added one goal. Brad
Ottens nearly created a contender of the Mark of the Year, he was close
to getting up as high as his mark against Sydney last year that won
him the award, instead the slippery ball, like a cake of soap, was too
hard to hold. Steve Johnson was terrific booting 3 goals and adding
spice to the forward line-up along with Travis Varcoe's superb skills
in the wet conditions. Jonathan Brown's snap goal from 45 metres in
the second half gave Lion fans some hope. Brown also set up Joel Patfull
for another through clever hands under pressure, reducing the margin
to 19 points.
The rain had stopped but the ground remained wet and the the ball 'soapy'
but Brisbane looked unlikely to score with its forward 50 often completely
empty due to Geelong's defensive pressure, leading from the front was
Matthew Scarlett. Matt Egan was a good match-up on Brown, restricting
him to just two goals for the day. Geelong continued to play grinding,
basic football pleasing the crowd.
Fittingly, Gary Ablett capped off his remarkable day with the match
highlight kicking an Ablettesque goal, the final for the match. Weaving
around his opponent at a fierce, intense pace, he curled a right-foot
snap over his shoulder and it sailed straight through the middle, something
that would have even impressed his father, Gary Ablett Snr, who was
rooms after the game. The Cats unstoppable and very enthusiastic with
their defeat at home as they look on to the next game after having a
week's break, Sydney at home on Saturday, 30th June.
Gary Ablett's best afield effort has put
him even more into the spotlight, and is sure to see him firm further
in Brownlow Medal betting this week. Ablett polled best afield in most
newspapers and has edged ahead of teammate Jimmy Bartel in most counts.
Next Sunday Geelong, in another Fox Sports
only game, host Brisbane Lions in a 1PM game at Skilled Stadium. With
six wins in a row now, the Cats will certainly go in as favourites but
will be wary of the wounded Lions, now without a win in some weeks after
losing at home to the Western Bulldogs.
BENDIGO BANK CATS TURN IT ON FOR LONERGAN
RETURN, SEVENTY-TWO POINT WINNERS OVER TASMANIA IN THE WET
Ben Jensen 17 June 2007
GEELONG leads not only the AFL ladder but
held onto top spot in the VFL, making ammends for last week's loss to
Werribee with an absolute spanking of Tasmania. At times the conditions
resembled a torrential downpour but that didn't seem to bother the Cats
in the second half, outscoring the Devils by nine goals to nil. Tom
Lonergan enjoyed his first game back since that terrible incident last
season, and enjoyed a big cheer when he came on in the second quarter.
GEELONG 3.3 5.5 11.9 14.14 (98)
TASMANIA 1.1 2.2 3.4 3.8 (26)
GEELONG: Davenport 5 Hogan 2 Grima 2 Gardiner Playfair Hawkins
TASMANIA Derbyshire Ryan Joseph
GEELONG: Davenport West Callan Hawkins Hunt Byrnes
TASMANIA Warren Moran Whish-Wilson Gilmour Stephens McDonald
THE CATTERY NEWSLETTER MID SEASON
REVIEW - OUT SOON
OF 18/6/2007 GEELONG HAD 29,501 MEMBERS, UP
322 (1.1%) FROM 29,179 MEMBERS LAST WEEK (11/6/2007). TARGET:
32,291 (2,790 TO GO - AND 499 TO 'NEW' TARGET 30,000)
A MEMBERSHIP - http://gfc.com.au
GOOD ARE THE CATS PLAYING?