Port unable to stop Cats’ run

Joel Selwood competes for the ball with Matt Thomas.
Joel Selwood competes for the ball with Matt Thomas. Photo: Getty Images

GEELONG 7.1 10.4 15.6 18.8 (116) PORT ADELAIDE 0.4 3.6 4.10 9.14 (68)
GOALS Geelong: Hawkins 6, Podsiadly 4, Schroder 2, Motlop 2, Burbury, Bartel, Thurlow, Johnson. Port Adelaide: Schulz 3, Mitchell 2, Thomas 2, Monfries, Redden.
BEST Geelong: Johnson, Enright, Hawkins, Motlop, Taylor, Bartel, Mackie, Christensen. Port Adelaide: Wingard, Jonas, Gray, Boak, Wines.
INJURIES Geelong: Podsiadly (ankle), Selwood (elbow), Smedts (ankle), Caddy (thigh).
UMPIRES Dalgleish, Mollison, Fleer.
CROWD 21,309 at AAMI Stadium.

”If only …” the Port Adelaide fans sighed. If only Geelong had suffered the same fate as the Sydney Swans the previous night, their bus breaking down on their way to the game.

Just moments into the game at AAMI Stadium, when a five-centimetre taller and 11-kilogram heavier James Podsiadly brushed aside young Tom Jonas and goaled, they realised Geelong had turned up to play.

Jordan Schroder and Tom Logan
Jordan Schroder beats Tom Logan Photo: Getty Images

With Geelong leading 7.1 to a miserable 0.4 at quarter-time, and Port looking as if it were hit by the bus, the fans’ fears materialised, losing by 48 points.

Port wasn’t expected to win, but given its 5-0 start to the season, and the promise of being far more competitive and composed under the Ken Hinkley style, this fourth-successive losing performance was grossly inadequate, especially in the indigenous round, which the club embraces with all its heart.

The Power gave Geelong a nine-goal start before it kicked its first almost 10 minutes into the second quarter, and the talk of another great comeback was not to be whispered. Port again showed some spirit and ability in the last quarter, but by then Geelong was going through the motions.

Geelong’s clear focus was improving in the back lines, and that it did, especially through Harry Taylor, Corey Enright and Andrew Mackie, but it was the professional approach – particularly until three-quarter-time – that told us again how awesome it can be, especially after a loss.

Podsiadly enjoyed his permanent full-forward role and kicked four goals, Tom Hawkins kicked six, and a host of other big performers included the ever-dangerous Steve Johnson, who thrived midfield, Jimmy Bartel, and a mean line-up of defenders led by Taylor and Mackie. Allen Christensen and Mathew Stokes added to a fabulous team effort on their special day.

There were also very encouraging performances by Geelong’s youngsters, especially the fast-improving Mark Blicavs, and Jordan Schroder, 20, who kicked two goals and did well in only his fourth AFL game.

Geelong had far too much composure and class to be really tested. It was one of its no-fuss performances; focused on getting the job done with quality teamwork and seemingly running through the game plan unfazed. It was Port’s 5.4 to 3.2 last term that disguised this game for what it was – dreadfully one-sided. The Cats had only three more scoring shots, but Port’s inaccuracy resulted largely from an inexcusable lack of skill. Captain Travis Boak and Chad Wingard had their personal wins at times, but they were far between for their teammates.

No one depicted Port’s failings more than the returning John Butcher, who twice kicked out on the full from set shots from 30-35 metres and dropped the easiest of marks.

Source: Ashley Porter – The Age