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THE CAT RUN by George on the Outer

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It truly became a “Cat Run” with an 80 point win to the home side, an outcome that had us wondering what happened to the Demons of 2018 when they got to a Preliminary final on the basis of their “brand” of contested football?  

Well that part hasn’t changed any, since the likes of Clayton Oliver can win the ball 44 times in a game including 15 clearances, Angus Brayshaw racks up 33 touches with Jack Viney chipping in for 27 of this own.  In the ruck Max Gawn had 53 hitouts on the night, and yet on a wet and continuously raining night the team get beaten by 80 points!

The Demons went inside their forward line 25 more times than the Cats for the game, this should have been a comprehensive Melbourne victory, based on these overwhelming statistics.  

But to lose instead by 13 goals means that something else is seriously, seriously out of whack!

There is no doubt the forward line is completely dysfunctional. For the second week in a row Melbourne robbed the forwards of a tall to replace Gawn in the ruck to give him a rest.  For the second week in a row it failed, and failed big time.  Geelong didn’t have two rucks, they just used Hawkins in the forward line, Blicavs in the backline and Ratugolea as backups.  This gave Stanley free reign to run Max around and into the ground.  

Unless Gawn can run the whole game, and around the whole ground at full pace, then perhaps the selectors could try bringing a second ruckman in to the side on selection night. 

And a forward line with the likes of Sparrow, Fritsch, ANB, first gamer Lockhart, even Melksham and Hunt simply isn’t going to match it for height against Taylor, Stewart and Blicavs. The constant bombing inside by Melbourne just meant Geelong were able to spoil or outmark their Melbourne opponents since it had only Weideman and Tom McDonald as talls, (when they weren’t dragged into the ruck).  One spare Geelong tall all the time, or even more when Ratugolea or Stanley dropped back as well.   

Small wonder Melbourne wasn’t able to score, with yet another goal-less quarter (this time the third) which is too often now becoming part of “the Brand”. The other troubling re-emergence is the inability to stop an opposition teams “run on”.  

In the first quarter, the Cats kicked 5 unanswered goals in a 13 minute period and it was effectively game over in the wet. But they followed it up with a six goal unanswered period in the third and a 4 goal run in the last.  This was emblematic of the worst of Melbourne sides prior to the arrival of Paul Roos.  

The mids were fantastic as seen by the simply enormous touches, contested possessions and simply drive they provided.  The backs did their job well as evidenced by Hawkins only producing two goals for the night in a team which kicked 10 times as much.  

And the backline coaches have to stop the ridiculous habit we are developing of kicking short from the point-kick-ins.  Clearing the danger zone should be critical. Again, that was a hallmark of Roos, which seems to have disappeared. 

The loss was simply the lack of pressure coming from too many around the ground, and the lack of scoreboard pressure caused by the forwards.  The selectors have got to stop putting debutants into the side and expecting more.  They have got to provide assistance to Gawn with another ruck or tall who can double as a forward.  

Losing the first two games, and not being competitive in either is a troubling sign.  Can it be turned around?  

First step is the selection table, or we will face another blow-up against the hapless Bombers next game. 
 
Melbourne 2.2.14 3.4.22 3.9.27 6.10.46

Geelong 6.1.37 7.4.46 13.4.82 20.6.126

Goals

Melbourne Melksham 2 Brayshaw Lockhart Viney Weideman

Geelong Rohan 3  Dahlhaus Dangerfield Hawkins Selwood 2 Clark Constable Duncan Kelly Menegola Miers O'Connor Parfitt  Ratugolea 

Best

Melbourne Oliver Gawn Brayshaw Viney

Geelong Dangerfield Selwood Kelly Stewart Dahlhaus Taylor Hawkins Constable 

Injuries 

Melbourne May (groin)

Geelong Henry (hamstring)

Reports Nil

Umpires McInerney, Williamson, Wallace

Official crowd at GMHBA Stadium Too many Cats sycophants to count so the figure has yet to be released

ReportRd022019.jpg

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