Round 18 – Geelong v Hawthorn: It’s High Time for a Change



A placid afternoon at the MCG had me feeling off. I never like Hawthorn games.


It’s been a real rough patch since the bye and games haven’t given off that same vibe, that they were for the first 14 rounds of 2019.


I sit, feeling clogged up in my seat. Little do I know, Geelong will play as congested as I feel here.


We start with a bursting clearance but Rohan drops the mark and the Hawks begin the clog and congest and we look lost.


The Cats trail by two goals at the first break. I’m surprisingly numb, I do not want to think about the final siren and the Hawks winning.


Two goals are all we get in the second. The Hawks kick three and we’re just lucky they didn’t kick straight, or it would be a blow out and we would look even worse.


At halftime, I look up to see that Hawthorn are dominating around the ground. They have scored six goals and five points from OUR turnovers. That will cost us the game.


We spray easy opportunities in front of goal in that third term, after immensely lifting our intensity after half time.


First, it’s Ratugolea, Miers and it feels like the whole side drops the level again.


I think we’re in it, when the last quarter starts, but we keep missing and the time gets away from us and the chance to win becomes slimmer.


It’s hard to watch, which shouldn’t be what the top-of-the-table team says on a perfectly dry day like today.


We lose and convincingly. You can’t win them all, but I sure wouldn’t have minded it against these guys.


Hawthorn’s Mitch Lewis killed us up forward. Ollie Hanrahan was an easy target and had space for days.


And as John Harms would say, “there were loose men everywhere”.


We let Hawthorn play us, like we have forced other teams previously- to clog.


They say you can have ‘one of those days’ in footy and I guess that’s been our past few weeks, but we are still comfortable where we are sitting.


So we should be.


Again, I think that Chris Scott was outcoached, like he was against Port and the Doggies.


Clarkson is one of the most experienced in the game and obviously they worked out a plan to stop the Cats in their tracks – which is exactly what they executed.


We didn’t look convincing whatsoever. But this wasn’t a game won in clearances, because Geelong won those.


This was a game of lines, immense-yet perfectly pin-pointed pressure, that locked the Cats out and shut their run on down.


They didn’t’ even let us out of their forward fifty. That’s NOT the Geelong way. We break the lines, create plays.


It has been very promising to see such attacking footy in 2019, but we have lacked it these past few rounds. We need something from Rohan and Dahlhaus and Atkins. They have shown their capabilities and they are impressive – but they cannot afford to go missing now.


Geelong must do something radical. Remember Round 1 this year? The Cats debuted six new guys.


Charlie Constable, Gryan Miers, Gary Rohan, Luke Dahlhaus, Jordan Clarke and Tom Atkins.


No one was expecting that. No team had prepared for that.


And it shocked the system.


Maybe it’s time to do it again. We have a healthy list – Wylie Buzza, Ryan Abbott, Sam Menegola, Jamaine Jones, Darcy Fort, Quinton Narkle, Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson, Zach Smith, among others – itching for a chance to play.


There is a perfectly good opportunity for Chris Scott to buck the system. You’ll never know if you don’t try it.


We cannot be known as the side who doesn’t have a ‘Plan B’.


But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Cats are still on top with a game plus percentage. And you don’t win finals in July.


All we need is a revamp, something to get us back into that fighting, relentless spirit that saw us earn our place on top, thus far.


I believe. And I hope that our Cats people do too.




GEELONG         2.2     4.5     7.10     8.13     (61)
HAWTHORN     4.1     7.10     10.11     12.13     (85)


Geelong: Hawkins 2, Clark, Ablett, Kelly, Duncan, Rohan, Dahlhaus
Hawthorn: O’Brien 3, Lewis 3, Gunston 2, Shiels 2, Hanrahan, Worpel


Geelong: Duncan, Guthrie, Dangerfield, Tuohy, Hawkins
Hawthorn: Shiels, O’Meara, O’Brien, Worpel, Scully, Lewis


Geelong: Nil
Hawthorn: Birchall (soreness) replaced in selected side by Howe, Impey (knee)


Reports: Nil

Umpires: Nicholls, Hosking, Mitchell

Official crowd: 53,636 at the MCG



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About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!


  1. Adam Fox says

    It’s an odd position to be in: atop the ladder yet being in the grips of a form slump. While I’d never attribute it all to the bye, it can be a real momentum-killer for some. I guess the concern here, especially given that the wins since the bye have been far from impressive, is that the players that have been the main contributors that have got the Cats to the top of the table thus far have worn themselves out. All the more reason I guess to take the risk and bring in some of those waiting on the sidelines. The glass-half-full perspective being that the likes of Myers, Rohan et al will be in better shape come the semi-final.

    I say semi-final given that the qualifying match comes straight off a bye. You can all but mark us down for a loss in the first week! ;-)

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