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Big Cats on parade: Geelong intra-club match

Geelong intra-club match

The Cats trialled some young key forward options in their scratch match today, with mixed results.

I toodled down to the Cattery this morning. Sunny skies and a blustery wind that made long kicking slightly harder greeted the players. The teams seemed reasonably even, with an advantage to White over Blue in the middle (Ottens/Selwood/Bartel/Ling was White’s starting centre four), which was eventually reflected in the scores. No one had numbers on, which made identifying players difficult. (Apologies if I get some players wrong!)

The most noticeable matchup from the first bounce was Joel Corey playing half back flank for White on Max Rooke. Not to put too fine a point on it, Corey was a DT slut all day. He skulked around the defensive 50 looking for handball receives and cheap marks, especially from switch kicks. More than once he got the ball back after a poor kick into the corridor. Significantly, he had zero defensive side to his game, evidenced by the first goal after quarter time being a kick from the bounce direct to Rooke with Corey puffing five metres behind, watching Rooke turn onto his right and slot one from 40m. If Corey plays this role all season then get on it, because his hurt factor was relatively low so opposition coaches will let him go.

As for Rooke, it looks on this evidence as if they’re not going to swing him back to cover for Tom Harley. His first interchange was with Mathew Stokes, suggesting that the Cats coaches are going to persist with them rotating as small defensive forwards through the “sheepdog” (what in other circles is called the quarterback) like they did with Luke Hodge in the 2008 grand final.

With White leading the clearances, Scott Simpson playing full forward got a truckload of quality ball. Unfortunately for him, he did very little with it. My count for him at three quarter time was 1.2 from six shots with two out on the full and another shank from 35m that went diagonal. He also shanked a couple of kicks in general play, including a left-foot one that was too awful to watch. Simpson did manage a Lonergan Special from a handball over the top in the square on his own in the last ten seconds to bring his eventual goal tally to two.

In contrast, down the other end Mitch Brown didn’t do much wrong for Blue, from limited opportunities. He kicked a goal early, finished with two (I think), presented well and even ran up the ground a few times. It would have been interesting to see him playing for White and getting the silver service that Simpson enjoyed. He also rucked a little to cover for Mark Blake when he couldn’t sprint to the contest – those quicker throw-ins from four boundary umpires are a definite change for this year, mark my words.

Cameron Ling and Paul Chapman, both playing for White, were quiet in the first half but fired up a lot in the third quarter, with both kicking 1.1 from gettable shots – the Pink Pig’s point coming from a speccy in the hotspot. Ryan Gamble‘s three goals for Blue, playing as a lead-up half forward, were also pleasing.

Gary Ablett jnr, playing for Blue, was his usual industrious self. He’s getting into some bad habits by kicking too short, however, something that he also did in the grannie. He’s trying too hard to be Robert Harvey, or something, and dribbling too many 15m kicks along the turf. I’d like to see him lift his eyes more.

Andrew Mackie, playing for Blue, kicked a lovely long goal from 60m in Q3, but I noticed Harry Taylor running off Simpson to be the sheepdog more than I did Mackie.

Brad Ottens did okay in the ruck, although he did struggle to get to one or two contests with the new quick throw-ins. He also gave away about three frees in ruck contests.

Corey Enright was playing for Blue and Joel Selwood for White, on each other for at least part of the game. Apparently Jimmy Bartel was also out there, though I couldn’t tell him apart from about 15 blokes who all looked the same without numbers. Chappy did give Enright a nice bump at one stage though. Travis Varcoe did some nice things for Blue, particularly in the first half.

I didn’t recognise Darren Milburn out there, and of course Matthew Egan, Harley and Hawkins didn’t play, along with Steve Johnson, David Wocjinski and Cameron Mooney.

That’s all I can remember! ;D



  1. freosteve

    February 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    nice summary, varcoe intrgues me – if sent to the middle he could do very well (porpy sort of role)

  2. Heater

    February 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    All this from an intraclub game! Great stuff yet again, Monty.

    Your comments re: Ablett are interesting. IMO all the more reason not to have him in your squad in Rd1. Better to wait until he loses value and starts working harder, etc.

  3. Lakey91

    February 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I was worried about corey’s potential HB role reducing his numbers a touch, but who knows. Ill have to toss a coin for bartel v corey :p

    Hopefully, corey will stay there, and get named as a back in 2010!

  4. Chad

    February 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Sweet, DT 2010 Jorl Corey Defender 🙂

    Bartel V Corey is one i am pondernig too. I am sure when they play a decent side though that Corey might have to be a little more defensive.

  5. Theox

    February 13, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    So these quick throw ins will be used in the H&A season wil they? Sorry I dont remember reading anything about them….

  6. m0nty

    February 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Yes Theox, four boundary umpires are locked in for the regular season, last I heard.

  7. Theox

    February 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks Monty, any ideas for quickish ruckmen that may benefit from the change? I had ottens in my team, but might look to change now….

  8. m0nty

    February 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Gilmore from Freo maybe, Theox. Mostly it’s a bad thing for ruckmen because there are very few with huge aerobic tanks. Cox just becomes even more insanely attractive.

  9. Damo

    February 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Heater I don’t reckon there’ll be any worry about ablett working hard from the get go, especially after his double dissapointment of 08. There might be reasons for not picking him but working hard (or not) won’t be one of them. Personally I’m pro-ablett as I reckon he and Judd will be the standout midfielders in SC this year (and in real-life) and both right up there in DT also, although the case for them in that competition is less strong and there are alternatives. With regard to SC, and focussing on ablett as this is a Geelong blog, I think you’ve got to ask yourself the question “Am I prepared to miss out on 8-10 weeks of ablett scores (as captain mostly) in order to potentially save $100-150K?”.

    As usual, great blog Monty, I’ve been lurking for a while but have now decided to get of my @sse and say something.

    It won’t all make sense….

  10. BazzaRingball

    February 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Yes damo Its a hard question with ablett in SC, you almost need to lock him in and focus on getting the younger cap instead mmmm plenty to think about ?

    Great report monty, keep up the good work !

  11. ryz

    February 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    yeah, i had otto in my squad, i am booting him stat a it sounds i think like he might struggle, especially as te season goes on. adding cox though just means i needa make a few changes in the rest of my squad which might hurt. finally was almost happy with my team!

  12. matt

    February 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Good call about ruckmen suffering in SC and DT due to rule changes…. i would have thought this makes Drew Petrie much more attractive now as he probably wont be rucking that much anyway. Dont know about Gilmore though, learnt my leson last year

  13. Brendan

    February 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Varcoe looked very good in the All-Stars game too.

  14. Dublin18

    February 13, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    According to afl website Josh Hunt “limped from the field and had his left knee taped. He did not return and looked in some discomfort after the match.”

    Could be more trouble for the cats backline.

  15. Lakey91

    February 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    This could add some spice to round one – i thought geelong would win with hodge, franklin, ellis underdone. Maybe not, especially if mackie has to go to franklin :p

  16. Jonny Hart

    February 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I (respectfully) disagree that Cox becomes even more attractive. I’d be more interested in ruckman who have flirted with Back or Forward resting roles in the past. Rather than try to keep up with an impossible pace, I think it’s more likely you’ll get blokes like C Bryan and C Cloke playing a wandering Forward Ruck role. We assume Cox will be able to keep up, yet he was played Forward against Collingwood…

  17. Dicko

    February 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    “We assume Cox will be able to keep up, yet he was played Forward against Collingwood…”

    Worsfold just wanted to lokk at the other ruck options. He and we know Cox will keep up!

  18. MiGZ

    February 16, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Cox is a lock from every angle you look at, even if he does struggle with the throw in speed…so are the other 15 ruckmen in the comp. He’s 20 points clear of the next best option.

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