CATS GIVE CARLTON THE BLUES AT ETIHAD
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery CARLTON BLUES V GEELONG CATS GEELONG retained the Milburn-Silvani Cup over Carlton at Etihad Stadium tonight but had to work for it, spending much of the game a goal or so behind the Blues, finally snatching back the lead in the third quarter. They did it without James Podsiadly who pulled out before the bounce, his place taken by Jesse Stringer who was also a late inclusion last week. Joel Selwood, Stephen Motlop and Jimmy Bartel really stood up while David Wojcinski in his 200th game had pace to burn and was in reasonable touch. Motlop though had his best game yet for the Cats, certainly most important given his four goals and other efforts came at crucial times with the match in the balance. Eddie Betts threatened to snatch the game away with his own boot with three first quarter goals but he would be the Blues' only multiple-goalkicker for the night.
A bumper crowd of just under 48,000 packed the ground which was a Carlton home game. Plenty of Geelong supporters made their way up from the suburbs and from Geelong via train and automobile. The switch of Podsiadly, whether forced or not, was a good one as it wasn't a great night for big men, Hawkins struggling. Harry Taylor, who kicked six last week, spent most of the game down back again but was switched forward in the last quarter playing a key role in setting up Trent West's goal. Skipper Selwood kicked two key goals including one Steve Johnson style snap from a 50 degree angle. Johnson himself was goallless again but was handy. Ruckman Orren Stephenson was subbed in favour of Stringer in the third quarter, Hawkins and Taylor assisting West in the ruck for the remainder.
Taylor Hunt should come out of the game with some improved confidence in his ability to turn a game, kicking a clutch goal in the third. Paul Chapman seems to have his mojo back too, hitting the mid-season break having cleared out any pre-season cobwebs, or a hangover if you may. The Cats have next week off, the next game being Friday in two weeks against Sydney at the SCG on 22 June. Tomorrow at Simonds Stadium the VFL side play Port Melbourne, kicking off at 1pm. Travis Varcoe remains a spectator, still a 'couple of weeks' away from starting his season with a chronic foot injury. Geelong is now seven and four, and tonight leapfrogged Carlton and temporarily Hawthorn into sixth position. They should be overtaken by the Hawks given the vast difference in percentage, and likewise remain a mile below Sydney in fifth position with the best percentage in the league.
2.2, 5.7, 10.10, 14.13 (97) DEFEATED
FIELD: Stephen McBurney
(3) Brett Rosebury (8) Stuart Wenn (22) EM: Jason Armstrong (26)
CROWD: 47,632 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Docklands
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 27 points"
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