Finals Week 2 – Geelong v Sydney: Surprise!


Cats v Swans, semi-final at the G. Hard to ignore the horrible memories of 2016!


Like most people I went hoping for the best but expecting the worst, and when news of Tom Lonergan being out came through, all hope seemed lost. My son sent a text that simply read, “We’re stuffed”.


Buddy would be off the chain.


I went with two of my sons, one of their partners who is a Swans fan with growing Cats leanings (the power of love), and two mates, Scott and Shaun, who are massive Geelong fans. We talk, discuss, analyse and reflect on the game throughout, which I love, but may have been annoying for the five Sydney fans sitting in front of us. Scott is prone to big statements and trigger-happy judgements. To his credit, he said all week that Geelong would win, he had a “feeling”, like when he backed Tawriffic to win the Cup. In fact he had already booked a hotel room in Adelaide for next Friday night. Also, early in the week he suggested Blicavs (affectionately known as ‘Brownlow Blitz’, serious man-crush there) had to play on Kennedy.


In the debits column, a couple of his offerings last night: “Lang is a scrubber, we can’t win with him in the team” (By half time he had softened, by the end he was singing Darcy’s praises.) “Tom Stewart is not up to it” after one fumble. Stewart went on to have the “play of the game” with his run out of the backline and crunching tackle on Luke Parker. There was also the stream of texts after last week that “Chris Scott has to go” because of the lousy finals record. Hard to argue with at the time; well and truly blown out of the water by last night’s master-class. Exhibit A. Danger at full-forward all night. Exhibit B. Control the ball a la Hawthorn twice this season. Exhibit C. The foretold move of Blitz on Kennedy. Exhibit D. Admitting it was a mistake to drop Menzel last week, 2 goals, thank you.


My main hope on Friday night was that we not get blown out of the water in the first quarter as per the last three times we’ve played Sydney. A goal up at quarter time, phase one accomplished.

Q.2-Hold the line, keep up the pressure, kick a few goals. Six goals up at 1/2 time, phase two tick.

Q.3- Soak up Swans’ pressure early in the second half then counter-punch with a goal, thank you Steve Motlop (also variously known as Hotlop or Notlop in any given game). Extend the lead to “we can’t lose from here” by 3/4 time.  Phase three accomplished.

Q.4- Keep up the intensity, soak up the clock, kick a goal or two, nice work Tommy Hawkins, brilliant goal from the boundary after a stinker of a night.


After the heat was out of the game, the fear of a Sydney revival was extinguished, and most of the red and white around us had departed, it was party time, hugs and high fives all round and talk turned to the road trip to Adelaide for the Prelim. Around about this time I decided to take a selfie and send it to a few mates.

The win was especially satisfying because 1. NO-ONE gave us a chance, 2. Sydney have been talked up for weeks as the premiership favourites. 3. They’ve embarrassed us the last three times we’ve played them and we kept them to their lowest score since 1987 and lowest score in a final for 100 years. 4. We played TOUGH, HARD, UNRELENTING FINALS FOOTY and showed we’re not pretenders or irrelevant. 5. Chris Scott, in the face of massive criticism from “fans”, media and former players, kept his cool and got the job done.


Mitch Duncan and Scott Selwood (I think) on ABC Grandstand last night and today recounted that in the team meeting after last’s week’s horror loss Chris Scott was brief and to the point: “Sook for tonight if you want but come back in the morning ready to work” and, admirably blunt “Grow some balls”.  Mission accomplished.


A GREAT night at the footy!


Read more of our Geelong v Sydney coverage HERE.

About Marcus Holt

Born in 61, alive in 63, first broken heart in 67, followed by 89, 92, 94, 95. There because of a minor miracle in 07. Back in 09 which cost me my job. Shared 11 with my youngest son. Shared 22 with my eldest. In my other life, late career change teacher, father of 4, Grandfather of 3 so far.


  1. Look what can happen when the players are given license to take the game on! Motlop, terrible for the last 2 months, plays instinctively and cuts a swathe through the Swans. The midfield bursts to life. The players run and run and run.

    I could not see how Geelong could beat the Swans but I thoroughly enjoyed watching it unfold!!

  2. Chris Scott must have read your column to them Dips.

    And heard the rumours circulating around the NFA on Friday that Geelong were looking for a new coach. Don’t worry Dips; I wrote their names down.

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