CATS DELIVER ABLETT'S SUNS A HIDING
AFL ROUND 6 2016: GEELONG CATS V GOLD COAST SUNS GEELONG gave Gary Ablett's Gold Coast Suns an absolute belting tonight at a balmy Simonds Stadium, running out winners by 120 points. Before the match Nathan Vardy was brought into the side in place of Rhys Stanley, after earlier being brought into the squad as an emergency in place of Cory Gregson. The other late change was Andrew Mackie whose spot was taken by Darcy Lang; Stanley and Mackie missed with the old 'general soreness'. The match was played in relatively warm conditions given it was the final day in April, t-shirts not out of place on the night. The crowd of 23,000 looked larger than that, packed into the remaining stands with the Brownlow and Jennings' stands being demolished.
Patrick Dangerfield copped a big knock early in the match even worse than the one from last week against Port Adelaide but after a few minutes spent gingerly languishing around the half-forward line fired back up for a best on ground performance, challenging Joel Selwood, Josh Caddy for the three Brownlow votes. Big forwards Tom Hawkins and Shane Kersten booted four goals each while smaller midfield-forwards Nakia Cockatoo and Steve Motlop helped themselves to three apiece. Harry Taylor played an excellent game down back as did Lachie Henderson, neither making the best but from our view would have made the top six or seven.
Dan Menzel continues to grow in confidence and is seriously on the verge of stepping into an elite category of player, combining well with teammates for 25 touches. The tall timber Zac Smith and Vardy were all right, Vardy missing an absolute sitter at one point but enjoying his first game of the season, as did Bews. Smith and Vardy did only have a combined 23 hitouts between them to the Suns Daniel Currie who had 34 himself.
Tom Lynch started off well for the Suns picking up a couple first quarter goals, both from free kicks that should please Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade who complained during the week Lynch was not getting 'enough protection'. Eade may well have been talking about his own charges who were reasonable up until midway through the second quarter but resembled training cones from that point onwards.
The percentage boost sees the Cats on 174.7%, easily the highest in the League right now; they hold second spot behind the undefeated Kangaroos and should remain on top of Sydney unless the Swans have an enormous win over the Lions on Sunday. The Bulldogs and Hawks both lost to the Kangaroos and GWS respectively leaving only the Cats and likely Swans on five wins.
Next Saturday afternoon at the unusual timeslot of 2:10PM the Cats host the West Coast Eagles here again at Simonds Stadium. The VFL side play Coburg at Simonds Stadium on Sunday, in what may be a very wet affair; entry is free for members.
5.4, 11.8, 18.14, 25.18 (168) DEFEATED
UMPIRES: Hay, Kamolins, Stevic
CROWD: 23,007 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong
VIEW FROM THE FRED FLANAGAN ROOM, COURTESY WELCON HOMES