Round 10 – Geelong v North Melbourne: Cats fend off wilting North up North

Geelong v North Melbourne

5:40pm, Wednesday August 5

The Gabba



It’s more than a dream. Somehow through the utter disaster that is 2020, Brisbane has become the home of footy. After three decades of being the slightly odd neighbour with unruly kids, a hydroponic setup, a rotation of ever-louder cars and dogs, we’ve become needed. You need us and we love being needed.


That is why I’m going to see the Cats play the Roos on a Wednesday at the Gabba. It’s so delicious I could drink it, but I know its been touched by others, might not be good for me and they are sad to be missing it.


I’m taking an eight-year-old, despite it being a school night. We’re in row WW, our backs against the iron Venetians. This is social distancing Queensland style – stuff everyone into a single bay and leave the rest of the ground empty.


The siren roared as we walked through the gates and by the time we got to our section North and had scored a goal. For the uninitiated the Gabba is like a snare drum for people, every note amplified and distorted around its sterile walls. Such is North’s meagre following in Brisbane their first goal, after 26 seconds did not make a single sound.


It certainly didn’t register with the Cats, who controlled every second thereafter and if not for some appalling field and goal kicking (especially in the second quarter) should have won this match by ten goals. Instead they won it by five. Play at the Gabba, kick like the Lions, who had scored 4.17 the day before.


But the game will be remembered by the injury to North full-forward Ben Brown who has struggled through the season, matching his side’s directionless advance through the first nine rounds.


It’s a terrible look when a guy with a knee brace injures that knee in the first fifteen minutes. It was the most passionate the North fans got in the game. “What the hell is doing there in the first place!” they pleaded. Not without cause.


It would be better if this game was remembered for a two goal debut by Lachlan Hosie for North and an excellent game in the midfield by Lachlan Fogarty for the Cats. Getting a game in the Geelong midfield over the last ten years is like trying catch a wave at a six foot Snapper Rocks. But this is 2020 and with three games in ten days and an already bulging injury list its smoke-em-if-ya-got-em time.


Not only were the Cats playing the kids, they were giving them responsibility. Dangerfield and Selwood kept themselves quiet, the latter playing his first game since a “hammy” against Collingwood. Dangerfield spent all but the last five minutes in the forward pocket. As well as Fogarty, Geelong were well served by Zach Guthrie, otherwise known as “Worko” because he looks like the work experience kid. He kicked Geelong’s first, his first ever goal, before Miers and Hawkins took the Cats to quarter time a goal up.


The second saw missed kicks galore, around the ground and dead in front of goals. Menegola, who was otherwise very good, Atkins and Duncan, who is always good, the surprising culprits. If Geelong were missing targets North were missing everything else and through the likes of Cam Guthrie, Stanley, Fogarty and Miers, Geelong looked to be cruising.


Stanley was particularly good against an in-form Goldstein, having more hit-outs (19 to 17) and also squashing Goldstein’s influence around the ground, even helping himself to a goal.


The third quarter saw the game (and the lead) open up to 36 points before North came back a little toward the end, Higgins and Simpkin good for the Roos.


Nine goals were kicked in the last quarter as North went for broke, even getting as close as fifteen points. But this was just a signal for the Cats to throw a rested Dangerfield into the midfield which blew the game back Geelong’s way who steamrolled to the final siren.


North are in trouble. They look to be going nowhere and spent a good part of this game content to be second to the ball and use the new ‘holding’ interpretation to their advantage; it didn’t work.


Geelong played like they have bigger fish to fry and they do, next week and against the two rampaging teams of 2020 in St Kilda on Monday and Port Adelaide on Friday. All in Queensland, just like it should be…




GEELONG                              4.2     5.8    8.11     13.12 (90)
NORTH MELBOURNE       3.1     3.2     5.2       9.3 (57)




Geelong: Miers 4, Hawkins 3, Z.Guthrie 2, Duncan, Menegola, Simpson, Stanley
North Melbourne: Hosie 2, Daw, Hall, Mahony, Polec, Scott, Simpkin, Walker




Geelong: C.Guthrie, Miers, Hawkins, Fogarty, Stanley, Z.Guthrie
North Melbourne: Simpkin, Higgins, Anderson, Dumont, Tarrant


Malarkey Medal: (3) C. Guthrie – GEEL, (2) Fogarty – GEEL, (1) Hawkins – GEEL





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About Hamish Townsend

Hamish Townsend was born and raised in Geelong, supports the Cats and lives in Brisbane.

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