Geelong 17.14.116 def
Western Bulldogs 17.12.114
Geelong has defeated the Dogs in a thriller at the dome. In front of 44,600 people the Bulldogs have showed they may well be the third side in 2009 with an impressive display against the undefeated Cats. In Akers 300th game the dogs almost clinched victory with the final kick of the day with Brad Johnson missing after the siren. Geelong will learn a lot of lessons from this game but it is the Dogs who will gain the most from this hard fought and entertaining game of Football.
Turning Point of the Match
Difficult to identify a turning point in such a close encounter. The Cats had patches of brilliance and held a 37 point lead at one stage in the third term but the Dogs just kept on coming. Travis Varcoe kicked Geelong’s final goal to extend the Cats lead to 9 points in the final minutes of the Match. Gary Ablett will rue a missed opportunity moments later to put the match beyond the Dogs. As will Brad Johnson for missing a very similar shot after the siren.
Key Players for Geelong
Gary Ablett – On his return from injury impressed with 38 disposals including 19 contested possessions. Ablett did have many more handballs emphasizing his in and under performance. Had 7 clearances for the Cats but did miss 3 shots on goal.
Steve Johnson – Didn’t really have the high possession style of game Cats fans have become accustomed too. Kicked 5 goals 2 for the game the leading goal kicker and main target up forward for Geelong.
Matthew Stokes – Kicked 4 goals from his 5 kicks for the Cats and lifted up forward in the absence of Mooney. Did what he needed to do for the Cats.
Key Players for the Western Bulldogs
Jason Akermanis – Really fantastic game in his 300th kicked 4 goals for the Dogs and probably could have easily kicked 6. Had 25 touches, 2 goal assists and 7 inside 50’s.
Matthew Boyd – 28 touches, 3 clearances. Played an impressive game for the Dogs and was their leading possession winner.
Brad Johnson – Should have won the game for the Dogs but despite this fact he kicked 4 majors and a total of 26 possessions. Looked very dangerous around goal all night.
Musings from the Match
• Akermanis almost received the fairytale finish in his 300th game.
• Ryan Gamble for Geelong was knocked out in the second quarter really stretching the forward line with Mooney on the sidelines this week.
• The Bulldogs were able to lock the ball in around the contest and restricted Geelong in the possession count with the Cats well down on average with only 365 for the game.
• Tom Hawkins was very quite without the support of Mooney, proving how vital he is to Geelong’s structure.
• Mark Blake needs to show more presence around the ground for a big man, other ruckman have the ability to take big marks at crucial times in the game but he does not. Hence the importance of Brad Ottens to the Cats.
• The Bulldogs were extremely hard at the ball and fought back twice in the match, will be better for this contest.
• Second time Brad Johnson has missed a goal after the siren.
• Good to see a close encounter as a Cats fan, a game we needed as we have been coasting recently.
• The Dogs are one team Geelong cannot match up against as well as others. One of the sides that have the ability to beat Geelong.
• At the game I noticed something late in the game between David Johnson and Aker off the ball, found it very interesting, Aker gained space from this incident and kicked a goal, but Johnson was not impressed.
Its okay everybody Gary Ablett is back and he had a good return to AFL this week with 149 points for the match. Akermanis only scored 91 points due to his effectiveness being at only 52 % as compared to Steve Johnson having 106 points with only eleven possessions. Travis Varcoe continues to improve with another solid performance with 91 points. Brad Johnson was well up on recent form scoring 127 for the match he averages only 81 this year. A lot of Cats down on average with the low possession count this week.