CATS SIMPLY TOO GOOD FOR SWANS AT
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG put paid to any suggestions they're no good at the SCG last night, which started out as a shoot out with a fifteen goal opening quarter, an arm wrestle in the second, while after half time the Cats blew the Swans away with a seven goal to one third term. The lead blew out to just under 40 points in the final quarter before the Swans pegged a few back when it was all over, the final winning margin 21 points. SCORES TEAMS
Skipper Joel Selwood was simply amazing, producing enough highlights to cover an entire newsreel for the round. Some of his efforts in the match defied belief, a highlight being in the final quarter with the Cats just 15 points ahead, he leapt to pounce on a ball ahead of two opponents, somehow gathering and handballing from the deck to a passing Matthew Stokes who got it to Taylor Hunt who ran on to bang it home from just outside fifty. His match is being described by some as a 'game for the ages'. Stats wise he had 30 possessions, more importantly nine tackles and a hand in who knows how many goals or prevention of goals.
Joining Selwood with stellar performances were Steven Motlop who built upon his excellent game against the Blues last week, Matthew Stokes who in our book is in the top twenty in the league, Allen Christensen was handy and Paul Chapman . And you cannot go past Harry Taylor, cannily dinking through a couple goals in the first half before missing a few more chances as the match went on. Motlop equal top scored with Tom Hawkins on three goals.
Although beaten for much of the game Hawkins did swing the game in the third quarter with two goals and having a hand in others, finishing with three himself. Similarly Jimmy Bartel didn't really dominate which goes to show you the improvement still to come from the Cats' side. Jared Rivers was handy but quiet, while fellow new recruit Josh Caddy played just the one quarter as substitute. Mark Blicavs continues to impress, though still clearly second fiddle to Trent West.
Pleasingly it was lesser known players to opposing teams such as George Horlin-Smith and Billie Smedts who are starting to step up and stamp their authority on the game, while stars Steve Johnson and Joel Corey are now hitting their straps after interrupted starts to the season with injury. Interestingly backmen Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor keep creeping forward, only the two goals from Taylor this match but the danger ever present for opposing sides. On the flip side James Podsiadly, who kicked just the one goal, often found himself the last man in defence. It's true that the SCG is a tiny ground that makes it easy to track back but the side is clearly on their game, but let's keep a lid on it.
For the Swans plenty of positives, for a start we've rarely seen them kick more than a couple a quarter. Mike Pyke was amazing, somehow didn't make it into their best players, while Adam Goodes did. Goodes didn't do that much for us, seems to be a player on the decline after two Brownlows and two flags, a great career perhaps coming to an end sooner than expected. Dan Hannebery copped a beauty in the Jax Crackers at one stage, but stood tall as the Swans' best.
If you've nothing else to do, get down to Simonds Stadium to watch Dan Menzel and Josh Hunt continue their comebacks, Menzel from his second knee reconstruction. The Bendigo Bank Cats play the Box Hill Hawks. Hawthorn recruit Brian Lake is set to play for the Box Hill side, overlooked for their match against Fremantle in Launceston today. Alternatively you can watch it on ABC TV today. As reported in the match preview, Geelong's ruckman stocks are that low the hierarchy has recruited Sandy Robinson from down Port Fairy way, the big man formerly playing footy at Newtown & Chilwell.
Next round the Cats play the Bulldogs in an away fixture at Etihad Stadium. Selectors are likely to face another few tough decisions, amazingly so given the long injury list.
FIELD: Chris Donlon
(1) Matt Stevic (9) Shane Stewart (10) EM: Andrew Mitchell (31)
CROWD: 31,060 at SCG, Sydney
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 2 points"