The good, bad and plain ugly

Wednesday, March 12

IT would be very easy to write off the Cats after the weekend and say, well it was only a matter of time before the wheels fell off.

Yes, it was frustrating to watch and not much worked but therein lies the beauty of football.

Out of all the obvious negatives from the game there's so much they will learn from this encounter.

For example, after losing Kent Kingsley before the game and Cam Mooney early in the second quarter, the Cats continued to try and play the same pattern as if those two blokes were still sitting out there in their positions.

If you look at the stats sheet you'll see the entries into the 50m area were almost the same as that of Collingwood, 46-43.

It shows us that something was missing and in my mind that ingredient was accuracy.

Out of the 15 players who were responsible for the delivery of the ball to the forwards only two stick out in my mind as pinpoint kickers of the ball.

Peter Riccardi and Gary Ablett didn't only deliver the ball up forward, they actually tried to get the thing to a teammate or, at worst, to their advantage.

You've got to remember that without the two big guys, all of a sudden James Clement and Shane Wakelin get to pick up second-string, inexperienced kids, and with most of the ball coming in high and loopy - well it's about as ugly as it gets.

The likes of Charlie Gardiner and Matt McCarthy didn't really have much of a chance against the disciplined defence of the Magpies, who thrive on turning every opposition forward thrust into one of their own.

Often these instant turnovers caught the Geelong players out. You would see players getting caught mid-flight, with their Collingwood opponent off and lurking into space on their own. Bold as this is, if you trust your backmen and they continually win the ball it makes for some big opportunities, which in the Wizard Cup means shots from outside 50m.

Adding insult to injury, the Magpies - particularly through skipper Nathan Buckley - went on a scoring feast. With the three extra points on offer, those big super goals were making quite an impact.