Round 4 – Geelong v Hawthorn: Turn it Up!




Turn it up!

The Turn around.

Turn on a sixpence.


Turn the corner.


Plenty of turns there. More turns than a Go Cart track.


I saw a new turn at the MCG on Easter Monday. It was the Turn the Game turn. Crikey did that game turn!


At half time in the Percy Beames Bar old mate Fish was contemplating turning his back on the rest of the day and turning all his attention to his Carlton Draughts. But I was willing to give the Cats one more turn. So, returned to my seat and watched the Cats turn it on. I’ve never seen a game turn so much!


Fish turned up at his seat after watching the Cats turn the corner with the first few sausage rolls of the third quarter via the TV in the bar. Turn it up! he thought. I’d better go and watch this.


Cameron was turning defenders inside out. Poor old Sicily didn’t know which way to turn. Not sure what a defender can do once Jeremy decides to turn it on. It must be hard being a bloke who can run like a hare, take a big grab, and remain calm under pressure. And his kicking would make old mate Plugger turn around and take notice. Effortless and simple. That’s his kicking technique.


But to my way of thinking the game turned when the Cats decided to run hard. I’m sure Chris Scott read Sections i -xii of the Riot Act (1936) to the players at half time. It certainly turned their thinking. Stengle, Holmes and Close in particular. They ran so hard they turned the lush green MCG grass black. Singe marks on the turf. A nine-point deficit at half time turned into ten goal, three quarter time lead. The Cats kicked 10.5. The Hawks kicked themselves. They turned a half time score of 5.6 into a three-quarter time score of 5.6. Sam Mitchell turned red. But he couldn’t find a copy of the Riot Act because Chris Scott had nicked it.


But it didn’t start this way. Meek wasn’t and was turning Stanley on his head. Jai Newcombe is a ripper. Hard nut. But skilled too. Can turn an ugly bounce into a possession. And Breust was turning the clock back with his usual forward craft shenanigans. I turned to look at Fish as the Hawks kicked the first three. He’d turned pale. Mother of God he said. Or something like that.


The Cats finished with another five in the last quarter whilst the Hawks piled on one. The game had turned into a celebration of fast break, precision kicking, hard-arsed tackling football. The occupants of the bar had turned from blue and white to brown and yellow. And Hawkins had also turned the clock back a bit too.


The media was turning over the pages that had been written over the past few weeks. Pages about the Cats turning into a shadow of themselves. Hung over like a buck’s night veteran, they said. Gone. Bloated on success. And some were saying “sorry about that crack about the Cats being gone” amongst their analysis of the second half turnaround.


Turn coats!


So, the question is, have the Cats turned the corner? Or did the Hawks just turn it up? Or maybe a bit of both? When we look back, turning the pages of history, we’ll see this score line and wonder how it came to be? What provoked the turnaround? Even having witnessed it and having turned it over in my mind I still can’t work it out.


But the planets continue to turn. And the Cats season has possibly turned. It all just makes me dizzy. A season of twists and turns awaits.



GEELONG              3.2     4.3     14.8     19.13 (127)
HAWTHORN          3.3     5.6      5.6        6.9 (45)


Geelong: Cameron 7, O.Henry 2, Hawkins 2, Close 2, Stengle 2, O’Connor, Holmes, Rohan, Dangerfield
Hawthorn: Breust 3, Greene 2, Amon


Geelong: Cameron, Duncan, Holmes, Dangerfield, Stewart, Miers
Hawthorn: Breust, Day, Ward, Impey


Geelong: Blicavs (ribs), Bews (concussion)
Hawthorn: Nash (head)


Geelong: Ollie Henry (replaced Jed Bews at half-time)
Hawthorn: Chad Wingard (replaced Tyler Brockman in third quarter)


Crowd: 65,335 at the MCG



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About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. Yep, Dips, think we’ve turned the corner. Thought early season we needed Cam Guthrie to grow his locks back to shoulder length again.
    But then Mitch Duncan returned from injury and the rest of the mids seemed to follow his example. Especially, Danger who’d looked flat the first 3 rounds.
    Tomahawk’s summer period foot injury didn’t help him first 3 rounds but perhaps he’s fitter now. And Ratugolea has been a revelation in the backline.
    Dunno what they’re going to do long term with Rohan. Does he play off the bench or as the substitute when a teammate has a medical problem.
    Hawks are looking like what we knew as schoolboys in the late Fifties. Didn’t bother going down to Kardinia Park after morning school fixtures if we were playing Hawthorn or St Kilda. That pair would be lucky to win 2 a year — 3 if they had a good season — for that year’s footy. Then the VFL, of course.

  2. Thea Allan says

    Than you Dips.
    A master-class on how many times you can use turn, turning, turns and turned.

  3. Thanks Edward. Mitch Duncan is enormously underrated in my view. I think the new name for Cam Guthrie should be Sampson. Always performs with the long locks.

    Perhaps the best symbol to come out of the game was Dangerfield running down Newcombe in the third quarter – when we were about 8 goals up. That’s been missing since last year. Hope all the players noted that.

    Thea – I’m sure there are more turns I could have used!

  4. Well played, Dips

  5. roger lowrey says

    Hey Dips, great to see you have finally warmed to Cameron.

    As you know, I have been in this space for some time now so welcome to where the rest of us – with the possible exception of P Flynn – have routinely been enjoying Jezza’s special magic.

    Agree with you in trumps about Mitch Duncan. He goes unnoticed by many, including Cats’ fans, but certainly not by his team mates. The forwards drool when they see him with the footy because they know it will always arrive laces out in the right spot.

    Ratugolea is definitely playing better footy than he has previously. Without being too unkind though, that’s not saying much as the general standard of his footy thus far has been crap. His basic skills are sub AFL standard. But hey, good luck to him. I hope he continues on his merry way even though decision time will eventually come when a full cohort of defenders is available for selection.

    With respect to what Edward (above) and many others say about Gary Rohan, I think he is one of those enigmatic types who you just carry along knowing full well that he’ll turn it on when it matters. Think here, last year’s Qualifying Final against Collingwood. Almost as good as Brad Ottens’ 2007 Preliminary Final game that got us over the line that night.

    And let’s hope that hit out blew the cobwebs away as Danger, Atkins, Zach Guthrie, Holmes and the small forwards – and a few others – all showed up after half time. Specifically on two others, yes, Cam Guthrie must sack his hairdresser but I’m nervously hoping Mark O’Connor’s best footy is not behind him. A special watch on my favourite lad from Dingle. Oh yeah, but if O’Connor is right, I can’t wait to see Oisin Mullen from Mayo County later in the year. The former rates the latter as the best player in the Gaelic league by a country mile and has been for several years apparently.

    Having said all that, I think you are very wise to reserve your judgment about where 2023 ends up. Maybe as we have done many times before, it would be prudent to expect the worse but hope for the best.


  6. Agree here RDL with your comments.

    Gary Rohan is like the horse you just can’t leave out of your multi. He must be in.

    Saw highlights of Oisin Mullen at VFL level. Very impressive. Looks like a superb athlete. Look forward to the nickname they bestow upon him.

  7. Great read Dips. I was feeling good at half time, but my traitorous son Jackson told me the Cats were about to run all over our young fellas. I thought, what does he know he’s still wet as behind the ears. Anyways …

    Polly, another Catsman, wasn’t as enthused. He reckons youse played one great quarter and 3 so whaters. That great quarter did remind hopeful Hawkers like me that we are more hapless than heroes.

    Enjoy your turn and let’s hope it’s not a blip. Actually, of course I hope it’s a blip.


  8. Onya RK.

    Can’t work out Cats yet. As a matter of fact there aren’t many teams I can!!

    Hawks are constructing the bones of a good team. The draft and a possible new team in the comp might make that task harder.

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