GEELONG put on a show on Saturday at Simonds Stadium in a forty-four point win over the Sydney Swans, securing second spot and a likely opening final against Fremantle at the MCG.

Although the match was a sell out with people brandishing Grand Final-like cardboard signs saying ‘Tickets Wanted’ the crowd was well short of capacity at 28,459, and were noticeably more vocal after the club’s campaign to get more noise from the crowd. The twilight format got a big thumbs up from fans, allowing punters to make the most of the day then still be able to go out for dinner after the game, the Cats’ 1000th game in Geelong.

The Cats ran out in a special jumper with 670 long term Geelong members’ names on it making up the hoops. Nathan Vardy copped an accidental knock to the head early in the game, and while being assessed for concussion was replaced on the field by substitute Paul Chapman who played one of the best 14 minutes we’ve seen with nine possessions and two of the quarter’s four goals. Each touch of Chapman’s was greeted by huge cheers, this being his first game since round four, coincidentally the last game versus Sydney at the SCG.

Vardy was declared fit and Chapman put the sub vest back on, not to return until the final quarter. Geelong took a fourteen point lead into quarter time after kicking four goals to Sydney’s two. Swans Premiership player Rhys Shaw was substituted midway through the term, and unfortunately following the match it was confirmed he had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture of his knee and will face a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

The second term was a tough encounter for the Cats, who did dominate the play and had little to show for it, kicking just two goals to Sydney’s one, plus five behinds. The lead at half time was 25 points. In the third the Cats kicked the first two goals in another arm wrestle, before the Swans booted the final two of the term to return the margin to 25 points at three quarter time.

It was the final quarter that really got the crowd alive, the Cats blowing any chance the Swans had out of the water early on with three goals to have the game all but sewn up by the fourteen minute mark. Sydney bagged a couple themselves – Mike Pyke booted his third, before Steven Motlop took an absolute screamer in front of our vantage point. Even better he went back and slotted the goal. It looked like that’d be it but with under a minute to play Steve Johnson slammed home his fourth goal off half a step from just outside fifty, making the final winning margin 44 points.

On Friday night at Bendigo the VFL side, the aptly named Bendigo Bank Cats, comprehensively thrashed the Bendigo Gold by 201 points, Shane Kersten and George Burbury booting six goals apiece. Next week the Cats play the Lions, again at home, on Saturday afternoon.

GEELONG: 4.4, 6.9, 8.12, 13.14 (92) DEFEATED
SYDNEY: 2.2, 3.2, 5.5, 7.6 (48)

GEELONG: Johnson 4, Motlop 3, Selwood 2, Chapman, Vardy, Varcoe, Podsiadly
SYDNEY: Pyke 3, McGlynn 2, Tippett, Hannebery

GEELONG: Kelly, Stokes, Taylor, Johnson, Bartel, Guthrie, Duncan, Enright
SYDNEY: McVeigh, Richards, Jack, Kennedy, N Smith

SYDNEY: Rhyce Shaw (knee – ACL), Hannebery (knee)


: Paul Chapman, replaced Tom Hawkins in the third quarter WEST COAST: Jed Lamb, replaced injured Rhys Shaw in the first quarter



FIELD: Brett Rosebury (8) Mathew Nicholls (15) Troy Pannell (28) EM: Robert Findlay (23)
BOUNDARY: Shane Jones, Mark Foster, Ian Burrows, Matthew Tomkins
GOAL: Adam Wojcik, Michael Hammond EM: Chelsea Rofey

CROWD: 28,459 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong

Source: Ben Jensen –