CATS FINISH HOME AND AWAY SEASON IN STYLE, SECURE
AFL 2016 ROUND 23: GEELONG CATS V MELBOURNE DEMONS GEELONG secured second spot on the ladder after defeating Melbourne by 111 points at Simonds Stadium yesterday, the equation made very simple after West Coast beat Adelaide on Friday night- win and you'll secure second spot. The Cats did much more than that however with an eight goal to two opening quarter setting the scene for the day. Tom Hawkins booted four goals in the first term, Dan Menzel two and Jimmy Bartel one- Bartel kicking the first of the match. Melbourne didn't look as bad as their scoreboard looked, but by half-time it was certainly almost all over as the Cats outscored them three goals to one.
Paul Roos left the ground after the three-quarter time break, his last match as Demons coach, to a decent applause and standing ovation from the Geelong fans in the area of the opposition players' race. The third term again saw the Cats kick just three goals but the Demons didn't manage any; the margin a mammoth 72 points. Hawkins went on to bag six with two in the last quarter, Bartel three including the goal featuring in the video below, Menzel four, and one of the highlights for us was Sam Menegola kicking three.
The margin first his 100 points when Harry Taylor sunk a massive long bomb through the middle at the 24 minute mark, but Demon Jesse Hogan, who'd had a putrid day up until that point, pegged the margin back to double figures where it looked like it might stay. But goals to Josh Caddy, Bartel (see below) and a fourth from Menzel blew the margin out to the 111 Lord Nelson figure. Caddy is a real valuable member of the team and was missed for the month he was out.
Pleasingly it was a very good game from a lot of Cats, including Mark Blicavs and Mitch Duncan who'd been attracting some attention from outside the club for more subdued performances in recent months. Menegola, Menzel and Josh Cowan keep rewarding coach Chris Scott and the brains trust for having faith in them despite losing years to injuries; Lincoln McCarthy in the same bucket. Patrick Dangerfield was certainly the best on ground however and should really be a chance for a Brownlow Medal at his new club in a month's time. Joel Selwood was quite good on the day, while his brother Scott didn't play after being a change through injury on Friday. Jed Bews was good, he came in as a replacement for Scott Selwood and really took advantage of his chance.
Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones barreled into Tom Ruggles just before half time, Ruggles absolute poleaxed, and after vomiting at least twice was helped from the ground by two Cats staff, barely able to put one foot in front of the other. Video footage available here- Sportingnews. He thankfully returned after half time, for a while there it looked like he may not. Jake Kolodjashnij though did suffer a injury he could not return from, suffering a calf injury in the third and sitting out the final term as what the Cats deemed a precautionary measure.
With Geelong's finals opponent now confirmed as arch-rivals Hawthorn the Cats have peaked at the right time, Cats winning seven in a row now. While the Cats lost their last final against the Hawks the last time they played in a qualifying final, 2011, the Cats won easily though it was the day Dan Menzel injured his knee, an injury he didn't return from until 2015. The Hawks only just got over the Magpies today and had they lost that would have finished as low as sixth. Instead the stage is set for another classic match, but it won't be next weekend- the AFL declaring the first weekend in September a bye. The Cats will have the 'home' final at the Hawks' home ground the MCG where the Cats have won three of four matches this season including a comfortable win over the Hawks in round one.
In the VFL the Cats won their final home and away match over Port Melbourne, across the road from where this season's The Block is being filmed. Geelong won by 35 points with dropped Shane Kersten and Darcy Lang each kicking two goals. Forward/ruckman Mitch Clark did not play. The VFL Cats' final will be against Essendon at North Port Oval, 2:40PM, the game to be on Channel Seven live.
8.2, 11.6, 14.10, 24.11 (155) DEFEATED
UMPIRES: Margetts, Mollison, Nicholls
CROWD: 24,413 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong
AFL 2016 ROUND 23
GEELONG CATS V MELBOURNE DEMONS
SATURDAY 27 AUGUST 2016 13:45 AEST
VFL 2016 ROUND 21
PORT MELBOURNE V GEELONG
SUNDAY 28 AUGUST 2016 11:40 AEST
VICTORIA UNIVERISTY WHITTEN OVAL