The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 9 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: The Power fall to the classy Cats

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

 

Port Adelaide versus Geelong

4.10pm, Sunday, May 27

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide

by JOHN KINGSMILL

 

 

TWO WEEKS AGO, PORT ADELAIDE was on top of the ladder and in sufficient cruise control for Mark Williams to rest his stars in the last quarter against Richmond. He was content with a 40-point victory.

 

Tonight, Geelong came to town for a big win. They hit the ground running, getting players to the ball, blanketing the Burgoyne boys and forcing the footy forward at all costs and at all times.

 

In the first minute injury-prone Daniel Motlop broke his collarbone and left the ground for six weeks. In the second minute, Max Rooke kicked the first of his three goals for the Cats and consistent drizzle settled in for the evening.

 

Lade won the centre taps but Geelong won the clearances. In that first quarter, when Port moved forward they lacked confidence in their big man structure, Damon White and Warren Tredrea, and crept around the flanks with short passes. This was classic Port dry weather football. In the wet, the short game increased the likelihood of mistakes and they came aplenty.

 

Geelong ran hard through Gary Ablett and Joel Corey, also along the wings, but when they straightened up, Nathan Ablett, Travis Varcoe and Cameron Mooney were volatile forward options. At the end of the first quarter, kicking with a slight wind, Geelong were four goals up and clearly the better unit.

 

Could Williams use that quarter time break to recast his structure and straighten up his attack? No. Geelong constructed two clever goals in the first five minutes through a Port defence that seemed asleep at the wheel.

 

At the seven-minute mark, the fast-leading Brett Ebert took a strong mark, ignored a short pass and bombed it long to the goalsquare. Tredrea had two to beat – the Matthews, Scarlett and Egan. He put his body between them, forced one out with his oversized bum, held the slippery mark, shrugged the other out of the way and booted a walk-in goal that reached the corporate tier.

 

Tredrea’s big kick came when his team was being thrashed and his supporters were pissed off. It was the act of a lonely bear in the wilderness. Football Park rose to his call, but 40 seconds later, Mooney answered and they shut up again. Cameron Ling kept Peter Burgoyne out of the game and Scarlett stayed back on the last line on Brett Ebert, White or Chad Cornes, leaving Egan to man up on the wandering Tredrea. This was clever coaching by Bomber Thompson, who afterwards said that most forwards try to drag Scarlett out of defence.

 

Port were outcoached and outplayed in that second quarter. Geelong’s attack was intelligently constructed. In defence, they worked in packs, regained possession with clever choreography and moved the ball forward of the receiver. In contrast, Port often passed the ball to a player in a stationary spot, to be swamped in the death zone of waiting for the ball to arrive.

 

Geelong’s forward movements meant that they took possession running, splitting open the lines in a way that made Port look like observers.

 

That second quarter had the best running football I’ve seen at Football Park this year. At the 21-minute mark, a run from half-back saw the ball skid its way forward in seconds until the inevitable happened. A wet slippery ball and the goalposts and that attack dog, Gary Ablett Junior, were suddenly in the same frame. The ball skewed off the grass. Gary grabbed it and sliced it like a piece of meat on a chopping board for a wonderful goal that no coach could invent.

 

Mooney and Jimmy Bartel slammed three more in the last two minutes of that quarter to be 12 goals up. Mark Williams’ great start to this season had become a nightmare. I had $20 on a Geelong 41-60 margin and was in a healthy position.

 

In the third quarter, both teams kicked 1.6. There were multiple clangers, turnovers, and bad decisions by players and umpires alike. Port stopped the slaughter but never looked capable of turning the tide. The crowd and those out the back selling hotdogs would have been happy if the coach had sent out a white handkerchief and everyone could have gone home early.

 

At 14.15 to 4.10, the only interest in the last quarter was for the margin- betters. Port won that quarter but Mark Williams wasn’t fooled. His team tumbled to seventh and is now struggling to stay in the eight. Bomber Thompson, sackable a month ago, is now second and has to bottle his glee before a run of outs hurts him too.

 

Geelong won by 56 points and I drove home through the Sunday night city gloom with $160 of other people’s money in my pocket.

 

 

Port Adelaide 1.3 2.4 4.10 8.12 (60)

Geelong  3.3 8.3 14.15 16.20 (116)

 

GOALS

Geelong: Rooke 3, Bartel, Johnson, Mooney, Wojcinski 2, Ablett, N. Ablett, Corey, Ling, Varcoe.

Port Adelaide: Rodan 2, P. Burgoyne, S. Burgoyne, Cassisi, Ebert, Krakouer, Tredrea.

 

BEST

Geelong: Corey, G. Ablett, Bartel, Milburn, Mooney, Ottens, Varcoe, Ling, Rooke.
Port Adelaide: K. Cornes, Rodan, C. Cornes.

 

UMPIRES

James, Stevic, Avon.

 

OUR VOTES

G. Ablett (G) 3, Corey (G) 2, Bartel (G) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Bartel (G) 3, G. Ablett (G) 2, Corey (G) 1.

 

CROWD

26,465

 

 

For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE

 

Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.

 

2007 Footy Almanac

Comments

  1. This was a good effort by Port considering that they lost by 63 more points later in the year!

  2. Thea Allan says

    I will find my DVD set of 2007, 2009 and 2011 and watch them all again. They were fantastic years

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