CATS PUSHED TO BRINK BY GIANTS
AFL 2014 ROUND 18 GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS V GEELONG CATS GEELONG unconvincingly beat the GWS Giants tonight at the Giants' Spotless Stadium. We missed the first quarter due to parental duties and perhaps it was just as well, the Cats limped to a one point lead at the first change, spraying their shots at goal wide of the mark.
In the second quarter the Cats found themselves behind for a while as the Giants really put in the hard yards and the Cats often let the game pass them by; the Giants may well have gone further ahead had they kicked better and made the most of their inside fifties. But the Cats did hang on with a lead at half time of four behinds. Ratings for SBS and One with their Tour de France and German Formula One Grand Prix likely experienced a spike by now if they hadn't already.
Geelong threatened to really blow out the lead in the second half, the lead at the final break a bit over 20 points but could not quite put the Giants away. The final five minutes was quite intense in our household, as the Giants kicked five for the quarter including two late goals and a behind the make the margin one straight kick and continuing what may as well have been branded 'upset round' following the wins by the Blues and Saints earlier. But it was Steve Johnson who snatched a 'handy point' with around 40 seconds of play left that sealed the win.
The game was watched by an absolutely pitiful crowd of less than 8,000, and that was even with hundreds of freebies given out by the AFL and the Giants for promotions. The egos at AFL House including former CEO Andrew Demetriou, new boss Gillon McLaughlin and current and former Board members have a lot to answer for pouring tens of millions of dollars with plenty more tens of millions to come. Money better spent reducing prices of club memberships or dare we say it supporting a team in Tasmania, an actual Aussie Rules Football supporting state.
Positives for the night? Realising the value of Mark Blicavs to the side; his marking particularly across the half-back / centre area of the ground was really missed tonight. Josh Caddy had a good game and needs to be in the side come finals time. Steve Johnson shows no signs of slowing down and stepping out of the midfield, motoring on all night. Oh and a small matter of cementing for the time being a spot in the top four, the Cats overtaking the Dockers who lost to the bottom of the ladder Saints earlier in the day, in itself a positive.
We are still none the wiser who Geelong's best ruckman is, neither Simpson or McIntosh being that convincing on the night. I like McIntosh but the old man more a Simpson fan. Shane Kersten didn't have a lot to work with on the night but is our pick as the next tall forward after Tom Hawkins, who bagged two on the night.
Contrary to our earlier report of there being no VFL action for the Cats this weekend, the 'Bendigo Bankers' play Sandringham at Trevor Barker Oval at 2PM on Sunday. The Cats now have a week off in this split round, next game is Saturday 2 August at Etihad Stadium against the up and down North Melbourne - a real danger game for the Cats at a venue that seems to suit the Kangaroos better.
2.5, 4.10, 10.14, 13.16 (94) DEFEATED
Sam Hay, Robert Findlay, Andrew Mitchell EM: Stuart Wenn
TIP: Cats by 72 points
CROWD: 7,697 at Spotless Stadium, Sydney
On Friday, Geelong Football Club celebrated its 155th year, since a meeting was held on 18 July 1859 at the Victoria Hotel forming the club. Picture courtesy https://twitter.com/TheBlackCat1859.