Cats too strong despite promising Demon debut

Geelong V Melbourne

By Steve Healy

After a tough week, there is nothing better to do than forget about it all and watch your team play for the four points. This was the case with my beloved Melbourne outfit today. Were we going to win? Probably not. Was I looking forward to this game? Yes I was.

Having gone to Geelong to see us play in the previous two seasons I felt somewhat more confined in my small lounge room as I tuned the screen to One HD for the delayed telecast of the big game. The Demons, who chose to rest Scully and Trengove for the match (and probably McKenzie too) were still lifted with the returns of Bruce and Warnock, and promising youngster Jordan Gysberts was brought in for an opening chapter of what now looks like a prosperous career from his performance today.

Kelli Underwood’s voice screeched through the Healy household as the game began. My 13-year old brother Brendan sat next to me on the couch. It wasn’t a great start. Steve Johnson snapped one around the corner into the packed terrace at Kardinia Park. Podsiadly marked a kick from Ling at the fifty and stuck it through the middle. Taylor missed on the run but Johnson curled another through the sticks, continuing his promising form from previous weeks. Brendan doubted Aaron Davey’s ability and I explained to him that he is the best ‘field kicker’ in the AFL. The comment was laughed at, as I funnily tried to explain to him what a field kicker was. Davey went on to pick up 12 touches in the term.  Just as Geelong were about to close the game shut in their “Geelong” way, the Dees linked up with Bennell squeezing one through from long range. A lively Wonaeamirri in his second-game back missed a gettable shot before Hawkins marked inside the square and popped it through. Jetta replied but then Hawkins kicked a second goal after using the wind to advantage. Although the Demons trailed by 22 points at the break, they had been efficient with their chances inside the forward 50 and Gysberts had picked up seven possessions.

Ablett continued his possession-getting ways and the Cats continued their scoring ways. Podsiadly drilled home his second, before the Demons regained some composure with a near goal from Watts (who looked lively at the start of the game, but was rarely sighted towards the end) and a classic goal from Davey deep in the pocket. After missing a couple of shots in the first, Ablett made no mistake for Geelong and Stokes put the margin out to 33. Miller continued his promising form from last week with a straight kick before Chapman went bang and gave the Cats the ascendancy. Even though the Demons had the breeze in that quarter, they lost it by 10 points, giving the Cats a 9.6 60 to 4.4 28 lead at half time and their 18th consecutive quarter won, to rewrite the record books. Despite this, Gysberts kept roaming free and had 15 possessions to lead the Demons in the count at the break.

After a bit of indoor footy at half time the third began with a magnificent goal from Podsiadly (What a player!), on the run from the perimeter piping. Podsiadly was too good in this match, having to be rotated off by Rivers, Warnock and Garland throughout the afternoon. We pegged one back by Green but the Cats replied as they had done all day long with a second goal from Stokes and a fourth from Podsiadly. Green drilled one through his second for the quarter before an attempt for a fourth was marked on the line by Morton who converted. Just as I got relatively excited, Hawkins and Stokes both spoil the run to put the Cats up by 44 at the final break.

All I could hope for was that the Demons wouldn’t let the game get away from them in the final term. That was the case in the early part of the quarter. After a few blemishes from Geelong, Davey weaved through and kicked a lovely goal from outside the arc. Ablett replied, but the Demons then got two more goals through Wonaeamirri and Green to bring the margin back to 34 points. Unfortunately we couldn’t curtail the Geelong attack for the last fifteen minutes, they run out 54 point victors with another few goals, including a fifth from Podsiadly.

Despite the nine-goal margin I think that we showed glimpses of talent throughout the course of the match against a tough opponent. The real bonus was Gysberts, who had a dream debut of strolling around the midfield and picking up 26 possessions and taking eight marks, and only playing 70% of the game. It was great to see Wonaeamirri back, although he only picked up eight possessions he laid six tackles and looks like he’ll be back where he was two years ago in the next few weeks. And what about Brad Green? There wouldn’t be many people who would’ve thought that he would be where he is at this stage of the year. Same goes for James McDonald.

Geelong: 5.5 9.6 14.8 18.13 (121)

Melbourne: 2.1 4.4 7.6 10.7 (67)


Geelong: Podsiadly 5, Hawkins 4, Stokes 3, Ablett 2, Johnson 2, Selwood, Chapman.

Melbourne: Green 3, Davey 2, Jetta, Bennell, Wonaeamirri, Miller, Morton.


Geelong: Podsiadly, Selwood, Ablett, Hawkins, Chapman, Ling, Milburn.

Melbourne: Gysberts, Green, Davey, Frawley, Moloney, McDonald.

Umpires: Farmer, McLaren, Jennings.               24,525 at Skilled Stadium.

My Votes: 3. James Podsiadly (GEEL), 2. Joel Selwood (GEEL), 1. Jordan Gysberts (MELB).

Go Dees!

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Great report Steve.

    Love that Pods got three votes from you, and Gysberts was clearly best on ground for Melbourne, but you’d seriously put him ahead of Ablett, who was his direct opponent for some of the match? And Hawkins, who got four?

    Interesting …

  2. Steve – this game reminded me of a game between Geelong and Brisbane at Kardinia Park played in about 2001 or 2002. Brisbane belted Geelong; far too physically big and skillful, but I could see some promising signs for the Cats then. A few seasons later and the roles were reversed. On Saturday the Cats did the same to the Dees; outmuscled and outplayed them, but I reckon the Dees are on the right track. Gysberts is a beauty, put Scully and Trengrove back in, throw in Jurrah and Pettard and things start to look prety good.

  3. Richard Jones says

    DEES’ supporters are a funny breed, Susie.

    Not objectionable perhaps such as Magpie fans, or downright feral like Essendon’s (the worst in the AFL, IMHO) but flighty and a tad ephemeral.

    BTW, how did little Shazza Byrnes go? No goals in a team total of 18. Stokesy and Varcoe ahead of him in the small forward stakes when Joel Corey returns to the 22.

    Long-ish spell in the VFL’s Magoos awaits, I fancy.

  4. Good report Steve, I like Jordan Gysberts too, the Dees seem to have recruited well. I’m sure Tapscott would have got a game by now if not for injury also.

    Richard Jones: I agree regarding Essendon supporters – In my experience many of them consider themselves to be more rational and intelligent than Collingwood supporters and more moral than Carlton fans, when the reality is that they’re as bad as any Pie or Blue.

    Plus, many Essendon fans I know love to gloat.

  5. Richard, give Shagga a go. I’d put him on equal billing with Varcoe at the moment. He may not be getting goals, but I’d have a look at his score assist stats. He’s winning the ball up at half-forward and even as far as half-back. I thought yesterday was one of his better games of late. And keep in mind, he was our best player the first two weeks of 2010 – he’s still got it in him.

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