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  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

SKIN THE CATS by Whispering Jack


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The task ahead for the Demons as they wend their way down the Princes Freeway to Geelong on Saturday night will be to skin the Cats. For them to come away with the points from this game would mark an historic occasion for the club as it will finish on top of the ladder for the first time since its last premiership year, 1964.

And it was in that year, that a trip to Corio Bay to meet the reigning premiers in Round 12, was one of the catalysts for Melbourne’s surge to the flag. It was a top of the table game that went the way of the visitors and while the Cats remained contenders into the finals series, the Demons had taken away their momentum. They had become the team to beat for premiership glory. They had skinned the Cats.

Incidentally, animal lovers need not be alarmed by the expression because it doesn’t mean what you might think it does. According to American lexicographer, Charles Earle Funk (of Funk & Wagnalls fame), the expression refers to a boy's gymnastic trick: "In America, as any country boy knows, this means to hang by the hands from a branch or bar, draw the legs up through the arms and over the branch, …” That’s how I expect it to be done — by the younger but maturing Demons running rings around the aging Cats.

As the season draws to an end, those old bodies down at the Cattery are beginning to feel the pinch. A few weeks ago, it was a struggle for them to get over the Kangaroos at Blundstone Arena. Then they lost at home to the Giants while it took most of their most recent game to get the better of 12th placed St Kilda. Despite the heroics of some of their longtime stars and home ground advantage in their last two matches, they seem to be spluttering their way towards season’s end with far too many components on the wrong side of thirty. You sometimes feel that some of them are playing with their eyes on next month’s pension cheque.

By way of contrast, the Demons are young, fresh and exuberant, crashing through opponents with the enthusiasm of a team with just the right mix of experience and youth, of players reaching maturity as footballers with a mission. They’ve crunched their last three opponents and the bad news for the Cats is that with the likely return of Steven May, Tom McDonald and Jack Viney for this week’s game, they are looking more potent than ever.

I’m not underestimating the Cats and their experience but the demands on players’ bodies this year have made life harder for teams with too many players on the wrong side of thirty. This point was virtually acknowledged a little while ago when Chris Scott called for shorter quarters. The name of the game is the survival of the fittest and I think the Demons’ fitness and talent will go a long way to helping them skin the Cats.

Melbourne to win by 27 points.


Geelong v Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday 21 August 2021 at 7.25pm


 Overall Geelong 132 wins Melbourne 86 wins 2 draws

 At  GMHBA Stadium Geelong 40 wins Melbourne 18 wins 1 draw

 The last five meetings Geelong 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins

 The Coaches Scott 5 wins Goodwin 2 wins


TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.

Radio - check your local guides


Melbourne 12.13.85 defeated Geelong 9.6.60 at the MCG in Round 4, 2021

The Cats had a few of their stars missing but they were never really in the hunt on a soggy MCG. The Demons received great drive from Max Gawn’s ruck dominance (41 hit outs, 23 disposals) and he was superbly supported by Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver with 36 and 34 possessions respectively.



B: J. Henry 38 L. Henderson 25 J. Kolodjashnij  8
HB: M. O'Connor 42 M. Blicavs 46 J. Bews 24
C:  S. Menegola 27 C. Guthrie 29 I. Smith 7
HF: B. Parfitt 3 J. Cameron 5 G. Rohan 23
F: B. Close 45 T. Hawkins 6 G. Miers 32
Foll: R. Stanley 1 J. Selwood 14 P. Dangerfield 35 
I/C: T. Atkins 30 L. Dahlhaus 40 M. Holmes 9 S. Simpson 37
Sub: S. Higgins 4 Emerg: Z. Guthrie 39 Q. Narkle 19 E. Ratugolea 17

IN: T. Atkins G. Miers G. Miers

OUT: Z. Guthrie (omitted) Q. Narkle (omitted) E. Ratugolea (omitted)


B: J. Smith 44 S. May 1 H. Petty 35 
HB: T. Rivers 24 J. Lever 8 C. Salem 3 
C: J. Harmes 4 C. Petracca  5 E. Langdon 15
HF:  J. Viney 7 T. McDonald 25 A. Brayshaw 10 
F: A. Neal-Bullen 30 B. Brown 50  B. Fritsch 31
Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 T. Sparrow 32 
I/C: J. Bowey 17 L. Jackson 6 K. Pickett 36 C. Spargo 9
Sub: J. Jordon 23 Emerg: K. Chandler 37 M. Hibberd J. Melksham 18

IN: T. McDonald S. May J. Viney

OUT: M. Hibberd (omitted) J. Melksham (omitted) A. vandenBerg (omitted)

Injury List: Round 23

Tom McDonald (back spasms) — Test
Marty Hore (knee) — 3 to 4 Weeks
Jayden Hunt (ankle) — 3 to 4 Weeks
Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season
Adam Tomlinson (knee) — Season


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