AFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON 2008 ROUND 1; PORT ADELAIDE
V GEELONG; MATCH PREVIEW
PLUS TV / RADIO BROADCAST DETAILS
GRAND FINAL REPLAY GEELONG, who tore Port Adelaide a new one in the Grand Final in record fashion last season, travel to AAMI Stadium this Thursday night. Although for some reason not giving sole billing on the first night of AFL for 2008, the Grand Final replay is certainly the most anticipated match of the round. In the 2007 Grand Final Premiers Geelong humiliated Port Adelaide to an unprecedented level, just seven days after their captain, Warren Treadrea, took a theatrical bow to the rabid AAMI Stadium crowd, and fellow meathead Chad Cornes danced an Irish Jig Sydney's Tagh Kenelly would have been proud of.
Port coach Mark Williams, while taking the record 119-point thrashing on the chin, will be desperate to get his season off to a winning note over the Cats. Likewise, Geelong coach Mark 'Bomber' Thompson is desperate to capitalise on the hard work of the past nine years and make another assault at the Premiership.
The Cats have lost several key players from last season, in Steven King (to St Kilda) and Nathan Ablett (premature retirement). Also missing will be another ruckman, Brad Ottens who has a rolled ankle; speedy David Wojcinski, who injured a finger tendon (similar injury to Tom Harley's last season) and rugged utility Max Rooke, recovering from a calf strain. Rooke may yet play this opening round, albeit in the VFL team's final practice match against Collingwood.
Coming into the side are Mark Blake, who was memorably dropped on Grand Final eve in favour of King; Ryan Gamble who has one game against his name; Kane Tenace, who like Blake missed out on the VFL and AFL Premierships; promising key forward Tom Hawkins, and last but not least debutant ruckman Trent West. No room was found for goalsneak Travis Varcoe, who last season ultimately lost his place in the side to Shannon Byrnes, nor Brent Prismall, who was desperately close to regaining a spot in the AFL side but was named an emergency on the day. Defender David Johnson, whose one man drunken rampage through the streets of Geelong a day before the Grand Final threatened to derail the Premiership, is also named as an emergency along with draftee Harry Taylor.
Port have made several changes, but unlike Geelong take the same ruckman in as played in the Grand Final, in Brendon Lade and Dean Brogan. Paul Stewart will make his AFL debut while Troy Chaplin will miss through injury.
As it's round one we must reflect once more on the tragic loss of Clinton Grybas earlier this year. 3AW and Fox Sports commentary certainly won't be the same without him.
Chris Donlon, Brett Rosebury, Michael Avon
100 games - Josh Hunt, Geelong
Light Rain Late. Morning Clouds. Mild. Breezy.
Min 16 Max 24
Geelong! By 7 points, the Cats will overcome the umpires and the Power ferrals to again tear the Power a new one
BETTING (As At 23/9/2007) (Check OnThePunt for latest odds)*
* This information does not constitute investment advice. And if you think it does, you may as well invest in the Nigerian renewable energy credit scheme.
AFL 2008, ROUND ONE
GEELONG V PORT ADELAIDE
20:45 (AEST), THURSDAY 20 MARCH 2008
AAMI STADIUM (ADELAIDE)
AFL PREMIERS VICTORY PACK - FOUR DVD'S - THREE FINALS PLUS SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
AFL TV COVERAGE (ALL LOCAL TIMES):
Melbourne CHANNEL SEVEN LIVE -
REPLAY ON FOX SPORTS 1IN EACH STATE
Replays on Fox Sports; available on Foxtel, Optus and Austar
AFL RADIO COVERAGE:
Melbourne K-ROCK, 3AW, MMM, SEN,
IN: Mark Blake, Trent West, Ryan Gamble, Tom
Hawkins, Kane Tenace
B: Tom Harley, Matthew Scarlett,
IN: Paul Stewart
B: Michael Pettigrew, Alipate Carlile,
REFER INJURY LIST FOR UPDATES (Updated on Tuesday nights)
(The Cattery's comments in brackets)
David Wojcinski Finger tendon,
4 weeks (Hurt in practice match against Richmond last Friday night)
POWER INJURY LIST
CATS WIN PREMIERSHIP! THEY'VE DONE IT!
By Ben Jensen GEELONG has broken a 44 year Premiership
drought to win the 2007 AFL Grand Final. Geelong thrashed Port Adelaide
by a record one hundred and nineteen points in front of a crowd of 97,302.
The Cats were never really challenged, and after establishing a twenty-three
point lead by quarter time, led by fifty-two points at the main break,
a seemingly unassailable lead. History will show the Cats spanked the
Power, inflicting the highest Grand Final defeat of all time. Steve
Johnson was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for best afield, narrowly defeating
Paul Chapman for the award. The Cattery is beside itself but
will do its best to provide a meaningful match report.
MATCH REPORT CATS WIN PREMIERSHIP! THEY'VE DONE IT!
GEELONG 5.7 11.13 18.17 24.19