GEELONG CATS EASILY ACCOUNT FOR WEST
AFL 2014 ROUND 4 GEELONG CATS V WEST COAST EAGLES ON an evening that began with 'March On Geelong', Geelong comprehensively thrashed West Coast by 75 points. The Eagles had a crack early on but from quarter time were out-scored twelve goals to none, adding just another seven behinds as the Cats ran amok.
The Eagles made a change on the Saturday afternoon, midfielder Matt Rosa reported as being ill, his replacement Patrick McGinnity. Geelong's substitute for the match is Josh Caddy; with McGinnity West Coast's sub. The final interchanges are Matthew Stokes, George Horlin-Smith, Mark Blicavs for the Cats and Dom Sheed, Sam Butler, Scott Lycett for the Eagles.
After a reasonably competitive first quarter that saw the lively Eagles forwards match the Cats for goals, from then on it was a a procession, on the scoreboard at least. The Cats kicked the first goal through Joel Selwood before the Eagles' forwards fired up, matching the Cats goal for goal. Jamie Cripps and Elliot Yeo kicked two absolute beauties, Yeo's the pick of the pair. Geelong held a two point margin at quarter time.
The second quarter saw the Cats kick six unanswered goals, the Eagles' only score occurring deep into time on. Joel Selwood left the field at one stage due to a cut to his head, returning with a bandage to kick his second goal; Tom Hawkins bagged two for the term. Cats' lead at half time - 38 points.
The third term was an arm wrestle for the first 16 minutes before the Cats found the right side of the big sticks, finishing with three goals and four behinds to the Eagles' three behinds. It was that man Hawkins who broke the duck - we think he's up there as the most valuable forward in the league right now, clearly not in terms of salary but worth to his team.
The fourth quarter was a valedictory of sorts, Steve Johnson finally finding the goals and George Horlin-Smith kicking his third. The Eagles did not kick a goal but managed several behinds - leaving them with just four goals for the evening, all scored in the first quarter . Hawkins had a shot after the siren but could not convert; not that it mattered, the Cats victors by 75 points.
Steve Johnson had a good night in terms of possessions but had quite a few clangers and prior to the third term couldn't buy a goal. He did however create more than a few, including one he dished off to Hamish McIntosh rather than have a ping at goal himself.
What was enjoyable for Geelong fans was the likes of George Burbury, Cameron Guthrie and George Horlin-Smith playing so well and in the top six players. Even Travis Varcoe, in his seventh season, can be considered something of a newer playing having missed so many games prior to 2014 through injury.
Jordan Murdoch also accounted himself very well. Hamish McIntosh and Dawson Simpson continue to make the job of selectors difficult, while Mark Blicavs was solid enough but not spectacularly good he may not yet be squeezed out at some stage.
Premiership veterans Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly, Andrew Mackie, Corey Enright, Johnson and Tom Lonergan showed they're still a force to be reckoned with. Seasoned but not quite as experienced players Harry Taylor, Matthew Stokes and Selwood had good games.
As we heard from the commentators all night, the Weagles were fairly decimated through injury and suspension with five enforced changes, though they did also drop one other player, Callum Sinclair. Top of the ladder after three rounds, they had huge wins over the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and St Kilda, none of whom are expected to challenge for a finals spot any time soon.
The march before the game was to do with the Cotton On Foundation, that began at Steampacket Gardens before heading up Yarra, Myers and Moorabool Streets on the way to the ground.
Next round Geelong play Hawthorn at the MCG on Easter Monday while West Coast play Port Adelaide on the Saturday at home. Under new coach Adam Simpson the Eagles are now three wins and one loss, and will look to hold on their top four position with a win over the Giants.
4.3, 10.4, 13.8, 16.11 (107) DEFEATED
FIELD: Luke Farmer, Brett Rosebury, Nick
Foot EM: Troy Pannell
CROWD: 25,271 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong