Big Cats impress against Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Big Cats impress against Magpies

By Roger Vaughan 22/05/2010 12:48:02 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's tall forwards and rucks combined to make a big statement in Friday night's AFL blockbuster win over Collingwood.

The 36-point win at a packed MCG gave the Cats top spot at the Magpies' expense and confirmed the reigning premiers are improving again on last season.

In particular, the success of mature rookie James Podsiadly has enabled Geelong to reorganise their forward set-up and ruck combination.

Even with Brad Ottens injured, Tom Hawkins has gone into the ruck to help Mark Blake, while Podsiadly and Cameron Mooney have combined well in attack.

"The best thing for 'Hawkeye' now is having a run around in the ruck, with 'Pods' playing well, it allows us to do that," Mooney said.

"Hawks up the ground is sensational ... every now and again he can drop down, he kicked a goal (last night).

"We worked really hard over the summer, because we really wanted to give the three of a us a good crack at it.

"There's no other side in the comp, I don't think, that has three tall marking forwards.

"We wanted to give it a go and at the moment it's going okay, but there's a long way to go yet."

Mooney celebrated his 200th game with three goals against the Magpies.

"It was a fantastic way to bring it up - Friday night, Collingwood, top of the table, (nearly) 90,000 people," he said.

"It was quite an enjoyable game and something I'm very proud of.

"I still would have liked to have kicked a couple more, I still have a bit of the shanks every now and again, but everyone played pretty well."

While Mooney missed one or two shots, it was nothing compared to Collingwood, who scored a wasteful 6.14.

Mooney knows as well as anyone how much that hurts - it took him months to deal with his crucial missed shots at goal during the 2008 grand final loss to Hawthorn.

Collingwood were pressing at the start of the final term, but scored 0.5.

The win also marked another strong game for Blake, who attracts plenty of criticism from Cats fans.

"People are writing me emails who barrack for Geelong and want to get rid of him - they just don't see it the way we see it," said coach Mark Thompson.

"He provides us with first opportunities, he's getting better, he's durable - he just turns up every week.

"We certainly appreciate what he does."

The Cats now have a welcome eight-day break before playing Melbourne next Saturday at Skilled Stadium.

"My biggest concern (before Friday night) was it was our fourth game in 20 days," Thompson said.

"I wasn't sure coming to the ground that our legs would stand up.

"I think we spent everything, I don't think there was much left in the tank, you could tell by the way we were playing in that last five minutes.

"There was the runner going out there saying 'keep running, keep moving the ball quickly' - I don't like that sideways, possession football as much as anybody, but they couldn't do it."

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