GEELONG HONOURS PAUL COUCH, DEFEATS
HAWTHORN ON EASTER MONDAY
FOR THE FIRST TIME since the 2014 home and away season, Geelong defeated Hawthorn today by thirty points, a final score that somewhat masks what a tight game it was. The Cats led by the same margin at half time but a five goal to nil third quarter by the Hawks saw them take the lead. Geelong steadied though, dominating the last quarter to take the win.
Before the game a huge number seven jumper was unfurled and carried around the ground by former Geelong greats and family of Paul Couch, who died earlier this month. One of Couch's children tossed the coin, Joel Selwood winning the toss and kicking to the Punt Road End. New recruits Zac Smith and Patrick Dangerfield were immediately into the action, Smith turning in a great performance. Smith kicked three goals and played well in the ruck, a useful contribution given Tom Hawkins often struggled to get hold of the contested ball. Dangerfield missed a few shots at goal in the third quarter but made up for it with his overall contribution, having a staggering 44 possessions and setting up countless other goals.
Lincoln McCarthy had a handy first half with two goals and a hand in others, Josh Caddy also knew where the goals with three. Darcy Lang was the other with three goals from fourteen possessions. Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood had 26 and 23 touches apiece, Selwood like Dangerfield having seven clearances. For the Hawks Paul Puopolo was too good to stop in the third quarter and along with Jack Gunston had three goals for the day. Sam Mitchell, who Troy Selwood before the game warned would be in need of a close tag, proved hard to catch and was the Hawks' best.
Next week the Cats play the Giants but only have to travel as far as Canberra, the Giants playing at Manuka Oval. Former Geelong premiership player Steve Johnson will be out to put in a good performance against his old side and help his new team to their first win for the season, the Giants having lost to Melbourne on Saturday. Injury reports aren't in yet but eyes will be on Tom Lonergan who appeared to pull up a bit sore in the leg at one point. Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge is confirmed as being in trouble however with a broken arm.
UMPIRES: Findlay, Jeffery, Mollison
CROWD: 74,218 at MCG
AFL 2016 ROUND 1
GEELONG CATS V HAWTHORN HAWKS
EASTER MONDAY 28 MARCH 2016 15:20 AEST
VALE PAUL COUCH
1964 - 2016
PAUL COUCH PICTURED WITH SON THOMAS IN 2006