INSIPID CATS PLAY LIKE DOGS; GO DOWN
TO TIGERS AT HOME; VFL SIDE HAS ANOTHER WIN
By Ben Jensen YOU KNOW you're no good when you get beaten by Richmond at home. That's what happened to Geelong yesterday at Skilled Stadium in front of a tad over 23,000 fans, many of whom sported black and white.
The Cats did stay in the match for three quarters, and really should have buried the Tigers in the first quarter, kicking five of the first six goals and missing two other simple shots at goal. But the Tigers ended up only six points behind at quarter time and took the lead in the second and third terms before the Cats leveled just before each break.
But in the final quarter Geelong could not kick a goal - but did manage nine behinds, three of which were rushed by the defensive-minded Richmond side. In contrast, the Tigers ended up with five goals two behinds. Richmond were good and for the most part played positive footy, but Geelong should not have lost this game.
Gary Ablett Junior along with Jimmy Bartel kept Geelong in the game but in the end could not carry twenty-two players. Ablett kicked two goals himself and set up countless others, despite some roughhouse tactics from the Tigers. Jarad Rooke played a similarly rough game on Tiger Brett Deledio, and kicked three goals.
Matthew Scarlett was admirable, his opponent Matthew Richardson not really doing anything but kicked his one and only goal with just seconds to spare in 'junk time'. Shannon Byrnes was one of Geelong's best, in his first game back after a VFL spell.
Debutante Matthew Stokes had an acceptable first game - nothing special, but he certainly wasn't amongst the worst. He replaced Peter Riccardi in the selected side, while Paul Koulouriotis replaced Tom Harley in his first game for the season.
Kent Kingsley must go - he hasn't done a thing other than taken up space since his eight goals in round two. While he isn't alone in underperforming, he's the worst and must be the next dropped to the VFL. Who'll take his place you say? Who cares; the season's over - somebody else must get a chance to spend a month in the AFL side if the club's to be a challenger in 2007.
Other forwards in Henry Playfair, Andrew Mackie, Brad Ottens and Steve Johnson played like dogs too, while Paul Chapman had a rare shocker.
WHAT CAN the Cast achieve in the final thirteen rounds of the season? They could improve their skills and anticipation that's for sure; too often handballs and short passes fell short of the target; other times opponents are allowed to slip up and drop the ball only for no Geelong player to be within range to make them pay.
With just three wins from nine games, just to make the final eight, would take another eight or nine wins. While not wanting the team the completely bomb out with just six or seven wins, it would be more constructive for the selection committee to look to 2007 and 2008, blooding youngsters and pensioning off some players who are proving to be also-rans.
Next week Geelong host rampaging West Coast; interestingly, last time these two teams met the Cats were again on the ropes and the Eagles flying. Yet the Cats won by some seventy-six points. Let's hope history can repeat; but it aint looking too good down at Catland.
RICHMOND: 4.3, 8.3, 12.6, 17.8 (110) DEFEATED
BRIGHTER NEWS for the VFL side. The Bendigo Bank Cats had a twenty-two point win over Melbourne affiliate Sandringham. The Cats kicked ten goals in the second quarter but just six in the second half to take their 2006 record to four wins three losses.
Nobody dominated the goal kicking; Nick Batchelor and VFL listed player Adam Cook kicked three each, with Nathan Ablett, Ryan Gamble and Luke Forbes (VFL listed) two each. Tim Callan was named best for Geelong, while Mark Blake, a shock omission for yesterday's match, was also named in the best.
GEELONG 2.2 12.7 15.8 18.9 (117) DEFEATED
AFL ROUND 10
SPEARHEAD KENT KINGSLEY SIGNALS THE NUMBER OF GOOD GAMES HE'S PLAYED THIS YEAR
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