Geelong maintained its unbeaten start to the season with a 20 point win over a tenacious Richmond at Skilled Stadium today. The Cats at times appeared to be disinterested and to be in second gear at best but managed to hold the Tigers at arm’s length for the majority of the match.
Geelong got the jump on the visitors with a five goal to one first quarter in which Geelong were allowed to run unchecked out of their defensive area to set up attacking raids. A serious injury to star big man Brad Ottens seemed to set the Cats on their heels a bit and the kicking yips also continued for Geelong with Max Rooke and Steve ‘Dog’ Johnson missing some absolute sitters in during the first term.
With Ottens out of the picture for the duration of the match Richmond slowly worked their way into the game. During the second and third terms they started to win clearances and centre breaks because during this stage of the match a yellow and black jumper was first to the ball with the Cats seemingly off their game. During the third quarter the Tigers jumped the home side with an eight goal quarter with Brett Deledio and Matthew Richardson creating havoc. The previously unseen Jack Riewoldt and Mitch Morton started slotting six pointers and it was only poor discipline by the Tigers that kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Cats.
At three quarter time Richmond had snaffled a one point lead and the Cat Park natives were restless. In the last quarter Gary Ablett awoke from his third term slumber to set the Cats alight and his work was finished in front of the big sticks as the Dog put the bite on the Tigers with three last quarter goals that settled the issue. The Cats stumbled over the line with Ottens and Max Rooke off the ground but despite the competitive nature of the match the Richmond diehards who made the trip down the highway would have to be disappointed with Richmond’s last quarter effort.
The big news is of course Otto’s knee injury and the word I have read since the conclusion of this match is that it isn’t a season ending injury and that the big Cat may miss 4 to 6 weeks. This match has shown that there is no such thing as an easy game in the AFL and if your team is playing a side that is copping a shellacking in the media that you will won’t be having an easy time of it come the next round of football.
GEELONG 5.5 8.9 11.11 15.15.105
RICHMOND 1.1 4.2 12.6 13.7.85
Geelong: Johnson 4, Hawkins, Chapman 2, Mooney, Ablett, Enright, Corey, Rooke, Gamble, Varcoe.
Richmond: Morton, Richardson, Brown 2, Deledio, Bowden, Riewoldt, Schultz, Edwards, Foley, Hislop
Geelong: Ablett, Johnson, Corey, Rooke, Milburn
Richmond: Richardson, Deledio, Jackson, Tuck, yep and Brown
Geelong: Ottens possible medial strain right knee