CATS PREVAIL OVER GIANTS IN CANBERRA,
BACK IN FINALS RACE
AFL ROUND 17 2015: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS V GEELONG CATS GEELONG lead all day bar the first five minutes in a low scoring day to defeat Greater Western Sydney in Canberra today, to improve their season record to eight wins from fifteen games and put themselves just two points or a draw behind the Giants. The Cats maintain a poor percentage however at just 98.2%, behind the Giants who have 101.9 and Collingwood, who play the Bulldogs today and have 117.8%.
Still, the win was the third out of five games for the Cats and with two home games coming up against Brisbane and Sydney Chris Scott will have regained some confidence he shouldn't book an overseas holiday for the second week in September after all. The win was not the most convincing, particularly in the third quarter, but Geelong were in control for three quarters.
Tom Hawkins kicked five goals in a commanding performance in the key forward position while the other big forwards such as Shane Kersten, Josh Walker failed to fire, struggling to take a mark while the midfielders bombed the ball in fairly regularly only to see the GWS backmen take the mark. Steve Motlop followed up his good game against the Bulldogs last week with another solid performance, kicking two goals among 31 possessions. Joel Selwood was a welcome return and had lost no touch after his one week off due to suspension. Veterans James Kelly and Jimmy Bartel gave no indication they're spent forces while fellow veteran Steve Johnson was handy but not outstanding.
After almost going scoreless in the third quarter and conceding a soft goal Chris Scott really ripped into the side at three quarter time, lip readers deducing he was not happy about not punching the ball away - Josh Walker flinching noticeably as Scott demonstrated the defensive technique. Whatever he said worked as the Cats slammed on three goals to get to over double GWS' score before the Giants kicked a couple goals deep into time-on when the game was already over.
It will be interesting to see what happens next week against the Lions, if Matthew Stokes or Jed Bews who were both dropped for this game find their way back in. Billie Smedts who came into the side after solid VFL performances since returning from injury was hardly used, starting as substitute in a strange move. Dan Menzel continues his comeback but most pundits don't believe he'll be considered for at least another couple games as he gets his touch back.
Geelong's injury list is finally back into single figures after having as many as sixteen entries at one point with Nathan Vardy the latest to return via the VFL earlier today in a disappointing loss to the Essendon VFL side.
3.6, 5.10, 6.10, 9.15 (69) DEFEATED
Donlon, Kamolins, Schmitt
CROWD: 14,667 at Startrack Oval, Canberra