CATS WIN AT HOME IN STYLE
AFL ROUND 3 2016: GEELONG CATS V BRISBANE LIONS GEELONG defeated Brisbane by 69 points in this evening's twilight match, the first for backman Tom Ruggles who put in a very solid performance. Before the bounce Tom Lonergan was a late change with a calf complaint, replaced in the side by Nakia Cockatoo. Tom Hawkins booted four goals and missed a few more; Shane Kersten missed his first couple chances but ended up with three goals as did Patrick Dangerfield. There were several players performing well on the day and worthy of mention. Radio stations 3AW and K-Rock gave BOG to Joel Selwood; the Geelong station gave 3-2-1 to Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Corey Enright while 3AW 5-4-3-2-1 to Selwood, Enright, Mitch Duncan, Steve Motlop and Mitch Robinson.
Brisbane's Mitch Robinson played quite a good game but showed he's still the same player Carlton let go of; it started with an encounter with Cats skipper Joel Selwood in Geelong's forward pocket way off the ball with Selwood upended and Robinson mouthing off and taunting him. The two remained in close contact over the following few minutes, at one stage Robinson earning a free kick in his half-back line, while it reached its crescendo with Robinson throwing his body at Selwood at the Lions's half-forward line. A bit of push and shove just short of a melee followed, as the emergency umpire got involved, at least one umpire reporting Robinson for rough conduct. We didn't see the contact so can't comment, judging by the K-Rock commentators plus descriptions on 3AW later on he looks in strife.
Ruggles fit in really well down back, part of a quality lineup led by veterans Corey Enright and Harry Taylor, and newer Lachie Henderson, Jake Kolodjashnij and Cameron Guthrie. He had a crack from the word go and will surely hold his position in the side next week. At times Enright looked exposed for pace but only a couple times, the rest of the time he read the play brilliantly. As noted Kersten struggled to put the ball between the big sticks but in the last quarter bagged three goals, to the delight of his teammates.
Dan Menzel is a real 'find'; being out since the qualifying final of 2011 against Hawthorn, returning last season for a number of games, he missed at least 100 games of football while the likes of Mitch Duncan and Allen Christensen have gone on with their careers. He was great today though, a class act if the Cats do go deep into September this year he'll be as much a part of that as boon recruits Dangerfield, Zac Smith and Henderson.
The Lions had some decent players through the middle and up forward but struggled down back and weren't that effective in the ruck. Tom Bell was our pick ahead of Robinson, he and Pearce Hanley got a fair bit of it, Bell like Robinson and Geelong's Lachie Henderson finding a happier home after leaving Carlton. Former Cats Josh Walker and Allen Christensen were quite hopeless, Walker sadly being quite wayward when having set shots at goal.
A tightly packed crowd of 23,320 watched the game, a different look now with the Brownlow and Jennings stands/pavilions being demolished. The club managed the pre-game collection of members items well, a very short queue late we had a new cap; while adequate food outlets were open although queues at half-time were quite long behind the Gary Ablett Terrace possibly due to more people being up that end of the ground with the construction work.
Next week the Cats play the Bombers at the MCG on Saturday afternoon in an away fixture, the game being dubbed the 'Country Game' to honour farmers- how they'll do that and why we don't quite know but we'll be really impressed if an array of farm animals and perhaps a combined harvester or milk truck from the Western District makes its ways onto the field at some stage.
6.2, 10.5, 12.14, 18.17 (125) DEFEATED
REPORTS: Mitch Robinson (Brisbane), for engaging in 'rough conduct' against Joel Selwood (Geelong)
UMPIRES: Findlay, Jeffery, Mollison (Same umpires as round one)
CROWD: 23,320 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong