Geelong beat Hawks but yips still there - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong beat Hawks but yips still there

By Adam Cooper 28/03/2009 12:26:52 AM Comments (0)

Geelong won, but the goal kicking yips and wariness of Hawthorn were far from expunged after a classic AFL grand final rematch at the MCG.

The Cats turned the tables from last year's season decider, but only just, as they withstood a fierce Hawthorn comeback to win by eight points, 15.21 (111) to 16.7 (103) before a crowd of 69,593.

Despite missing six of last year's premiership side and being a man short through injury, the Hawks stormed back from 43 points down early in the final quarter on the back of forwards Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead.

Their combined six goals in the final term - and nine for the game - almost resulted in a Hawthorn win that would have easily ranked alongside last year's triumph, and showed how tough this year's premiership fight will be.

Just as they did in last year's season decider, when their inaccuracy in front of goal cost them dearly, the Cats squandered a string of chances when dominant in the first half.

They racked up 8.16 in the first half, but found their range in the second and looked to have the game sewn up when Corey Enright goaled early in the final quarter.

But the Cats' run stopped and Franklin (five goals) and Roughead (four) marked everything in sight to get within two goals with five minutes left, until Geelong locked the game down.

The clash also featured a handful of reports, including one against Hawk star Luke Hodge.

Hodge, last year's Norm Smith medallist for his best-afield display in the big one, was booked in the third quarter when he clumsily made head-high contact on Tom Lonergan while trying to spoil him from marking.

Cats Max Rooke and Andrew Mackie were also reported, while Hawk ruckman Simon Taylor could also be in trouble after he dropped a knee into the face of Joel Selwood.

Despite some moments of aggression, both sides retained their focus, although Geelong, on the back of Gary Ablett's 35 disposals, produced more of their best when it mattered.

Paul Chapman and Joel Corey also got a stack of the ball in the midfield and across half-forward, and were able to generate plenty of opportunities for their forwards.

But Geelong were not able to maximise those chances until the second half, and Cameron Mooney - one of the major culprits in last year's wastefulness - illustrated the relief when he gave an elated fist pump when he goaled in the third term.

Rooke, James Kelly and ruckman Brad Ottens also played well for the Cats, while captain Sam Mitchell was Hawthorn's biggest possession-winner with 34 disposals, and Chance Bateman and Grant Birchall were effective throughout.

Although down for much of the game, the Hawks showed how formidable they will be in 2009, as they were without premiership players Trent Croad, Jordan Lewis, Robert Campbell, Rick Ladson, Xavier Ellis and Stephen Gilham - a late withdrawal - and Michael Osborne injured a leg.

Hodge was reported for striking Lonergan and could be in strife given he has 70 carry-over points.

Rooke was booked for bumping Mitchell, Mackie for striking Brent Renouf and Taylor was reported for kneeing Selwood.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson was pleased with his side's first three quarters and the way they steadied when the Hawks got close.

"We were pretty happy with our first three quarters, we missed a lot of shots again which is disappointing, especially set shots," he said.

"... we had to settle the game back down and got our structure right, but we were disappointed we lost it." Geelong were hopeful of resting fullback Matthew Scarlett's sore ankle in the final term, but the Hawthorn comeback meant he had to come back on.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson took comfort from getting close, but said Geelong were harder and cleaner with the ball when it mattered.

"We came here wanting to win the game and we're disappointed we didn't get the result," he said.

"(Injuries) are going to happen in footy, last year it was suspensions for us and we still managed to get some wins early in the season.

"Tonight we didn't play well enough consistently enough through the course of the game to put enough scoreboard pressure on the Cats and it would be fair to say the margin should have been greater at three-quarter time had they kicked a little bit straighter." Hawthorn confirmed Osborne had suffered a hamstring injury, which could sideline him for two games.

Clarkson was unsure if he would get any of his sidelined players back to play Sydney.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news