Geelong star Paul Chapman turned back the clock several seasons in a best on ground performance that helped his side to a 27 point win over an inaccurate Collingwood at the MCG. Chapman, who has been dogged by numerous soft tissue injuries over the past few seasons appears to be back to his hard running best and he proved to be a thorn in the side of Collingwood all night long collecting 35 possessions and snagging four goals for the evening.
It was a case of opportunity lost for the Magpies who held a 20 point lead at quarter time. Collingwood had the Cats penned deep in their defensive area for the majority of that first quarter and the Cats had no run at all during the early stages. A repeat of the 2008 match that the Pies won by 86 points appeared to be on the cards. Early on Collingwood recruit Leigh Brown was both the hero and the villan. His large body was proving to be a significant obstacle for the Cats to overcome but he let the Cats off the hook with a series of missed shots.
It was the third of these misses that proved to be a turning point in the game. During the second quarter Brown could have kicked the Magpies 27 points clear but he missed the shot and soon after the Cats scored a vital goal which was followed by seven more as players such as Cameron Mooney and Steve Johnson who were unsighted in the first term suddenly flared into life. Cameron Mooney has been a very slow starter this season but last night the wild eyes were back and his workrate would have pleased coach Thompson immensely. Even better for the Cats was that Gary Ablett had a relatively quiet second term but Geelong rammed home eight goals.
During the third quarter Collingwood refused to conceed that the game was lost and the prominent players were Dane Swan, Josh Fraser with some special touches by Dale Thomas. Collingwood also appears to have found a rare talent in Dayne Beams who ran hard all night long and got himself into dangerous positions around the field. However, many Collingwood players let themselves down by poor shooting for goal which had been a problem at Geelong in recent matches.
The game was settled by a quck burst of goals at the beginning of the final term. Geelong were better for longer during this match and for this reason they claimed the points despite being beaten in the first and third quarters. In further bad news for the Pies Ben Johnson has broken his leg and Heath Shaw is looking at a holiday for placing his hands on an umpire which is strictly a no go area in modern football.
Geelong – 5.5, 10.6, 11.11, 18.14.122
Collingwood – 2.3, 5.9, 8.15, 13.17.95
Geelong: Chapman 4, Johnson 3, Stokes, Hawkins, Varcoe 2, Mooney, Wojinscki, Ablett, Byrnes, Rooke
Collingwood: Medhurst 3, Beams, Didak, Lockyer, Fraser, Anthony, Cox, Dick, L Brown, Thomas, Davis
Geelong: Chapman, Ablett, Johnson, Enright, Selwood, Milburn, Mooney
Collingwood: Fraser, Swan, Beames, Lockyer, Medhurst
Geelong: Ling (ankle) sustained early in the match but he played on.
Collingwood: B Johnson (broken leg). On crutches last night so not looking good for the young fellow.
Collingwood: Heath Shaw for contact with umpire Vozzo. Shaw appeared to grab the umpire and with the Kirk decision just a week ago that makes this one a ‘flavour of the month’ type of incident which might cost Shaw a couple of weeks on the sidelines.