AFL Round 8: Worth a $5 dabble?

by Josh Barnstable

I am not very confident about this match. None of the other 14 teams would feel confident either. Geelong at Kardinia Park. Seems impossible. The odds are outstanding for the Cats. Mum put $5 on the Roos last night, even though she knows there is little hope. But things can happen in footy, and I’m hoping like hell that today something extraordinary will happen.

The Roos win the toss and choose to kick with the aid of a very strong breeze. Hopefully they can do something with it. The game begins with a Cats’ goal through Travis Varcoe before David Hale, Geelong’s worst nightmare after he booted 8 goals last year on Matthew Scarlett, marked strongly and popped it through to reduce the margin to 1 point halfway through the quarter. I am very surprised. Natural order takes place soon enough though, with the Cats finishing the quarter with goals to Cameron Mooney, Varcoe and two goals to Jimmy Bartel saw Geelong out to a 25 point lead at quarter time, 5.3 to 1.2. Bartel is on 13 disposals while Gavin Urquhart is on 7 possessions for North Melbourne.

The second quarter gets underway and the Cats start brilliantly, kicking the first 5 goals through Mooney, Tom Hawkins, Max Rooke, Mathew Stokes and David Wojcinski to take the margin out to a massive 56 points. This is what I was expecting. The Roos get one back through Lindsay Thomas after he strolled into an open goal but the Cats answered with 2 goals to Andrew Mackie from 50m. Hale finished the half with a goal from a free kick, 15m out. The Cats led by 56 points at half time, 12.5 to 3.3.

The second half started and the Cats started with a running goal to Shannon Byrnes before Andrew Swallow and Hamish McIntosh kicked consecutive goals for the Roos, the first and only time for the match. Bartel kicked his 3rd and Byrnes snapped his 2nd from the goalsquare before youngster Sam Wright, playing his first game for North, kicked a goal on the run from 45m out. At three quarter time, the Cats led by 57 points, 15.9 to 6.6. Steve Johnson has racked up 26 possessions despite not kicking a goal while Bartel is on 24 touches and 3 goals. For the Roos, it’s the younger kids getting the job done. Ben Ross is on 19 touches while Josh Gibson and Ed Lower are on 17 disposals each.

The last quarter began and the Cats kicked the opening goal through Byrnes after a clever snap. This was followed by a running goal from outside 50 to Cameron Ling. McIntosh pegged one back after receiving a free kick but Stokes finished the day with a goal from a set shot. The Cats had certainly gotten the job done, winning by a huge 70 points, 18.11.119 to 7.7.49. Bartel was the best player on the ground in my opinion, collecting 31 disposals and kicking 3 goals while James Kelly racked up a game-high 37 possessions. For North Melbourne, Gibson collected 24 touches while Ross finished with 23 possessions, a good performance from the young gun.

Well, I actually think North did a lot better than I thought they would. Not many teams can come back from Skilled Stadium after being thumped by 70 points, but still have plenty of upsides. After seeing Gary Ablett in the crowd, I know it could have been a lot worse. Looks like the $5 bet mum put on the Kangaroos was a waste, but worth a shot.

Geelong 5.3—12.5—15.9—18.11.119

North Melbourne 1.2—3.3—6.6—7.7.49


Geelong-Bartel 3, Byrnes 3, Stokes 2, Mackie 2, Mooney 2, Varcoe 2, Hawkins, Wojcinsky, Ling, Rooke

North Melbourne-McIntosh 2, Hale 2, Wright, Thomas, Swallow


Geelong-Bartel, Kelly, Johnson, Selwood, Taylor, Corey, Byrnes, Scarlett, Mackie

North Melbourne-McIntosh, Gibson, Thompson, Ross, Harding




3 Votes: J. Bartel (GEEL)

2 Votes: J. Kelly (GEEL)

1 Vote: S. Johnson (GEEL)

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