Where we wrong to declare Brisbane Premiership favourites?
Well it depends on when you are asking? At full time last week, or even as late as 18 minutes into the second quarter on Friday night, we would have defended our Round Five Knee Jerk Reaction. Unfortunately, an hour later they looked anything but having kicked just one behind in response to a nine goal Geelong burst.
Given the Jekyll and Hyde style difference between their home form and their away form, they will be getting right behind the QLD Government’s push to host the 2020 Grand Final. Unless they can close the gap between their performances it might be the only way they can be considered flag favourites again this year.
How the Game Was Won
For many football supporters of a certain age, the third quarter is considered the premiership quarter because it is when good teams separate themselves from the rest. After watching the blistering manner in which Geelong settled this game in the penultimate term, it is hard to question the description.
Brisbane made all the running in this match early and, if not for profligacy in front of goal, may well have taken a stranglehold on the four points before half time. Instead, after reaching their game high margin of 16 points, they were unable to stem an irrepressible tide.
Like any avalanche, this scoring spree began innocently enough, with two goals in the shadows of half time. With Gary Ablett influential, Sam Menegola and Tom Hawkins goaled to triple the Cats tally to that stage of the match. Despite this suddenly improved scoring output, it felt more like a temporary rear-guard action rather than the beginning of an all out counter attack.
As is so often the case, it would be Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood at the heart of the Cats surge in the second half. Outpointed by Dayne Zorko and Lachie Neale in the first half, the duo combined to all but overpower the Lions midfield on their own in the third quarter. Between them they would effect eight clearances for the quarter which was more than Brisbane as a team would win.
Supplied with such consistent quality ball, the Geelong forward line produced a quarter more lethal than any other to date in 2020. Gary Rohan kicked two goals for the term to match the number of incidents he was involved in that will come under scrutiny by the MRO. Tom Hawkins was another to kick two while Ablett, Esava Ratagolea and Brandon Parfitt rounded out the rout.
Brisbane would stem the tide in the final quarter but the damage was already done. In a mostly perfunctory quarter of football they would outscore the Cats two goals to one. It meant that, despite being comprehensively beaten, they won three of the four quarters. This would be of zero comfort to Chris Fagan and his team as they prepare for another week in NSW ahead of a clash with GWS next weekend.
What the Coaches Said
“I thought it was a win full of merit. The odds were against us and to a man our guys found a way to fight their way through it. We’re really proud of them,” Geelong coach Chris Scott told reporters post match. “There was a real possibility that the game could have got away from us (after halftime). So I’m just really proud of the resilience of our group to hang in and believe we could turn the tables even though the odds were against us with those important inside mids out of the game.”
Chris Fagan was full of praise for Geelong’s extraordinary display. “Third quarter was just out of this world for Geelong,” he said. “They played a fantastic quarter of football. I’ve got to admit I didn’t see that coming at halftime. We didn’t take enough of our chances in front of goal.”
“Danger was one of them but what that collective group of Geelong midfielders did to us … hasn’t happened to us in a long, long time and it did tonight. It was so out of the ordinary for our blokes to play like that in the third quarter. Was just an astonishing quarter by Geelong,” he said full of admiration.
GEELONG 1.4 3.4 10.7 11.7 (73)
BRISBANE 1.6 4.8 4.9 6.10 (46)
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Ablett 2, Rohan 2, Menegola 2, Ratugolea, Parfitt
Brisbane: Rayner 2, Cameron, Neale, Hipwood, McCluggage
Geelong: Dangerfield, Menegola, Hawkins, Guthrie, Blicavs, Ablett
Brisbane: Neale, Rayner, Zorko
Geelong: Narkle (hamstring), Duncan (hamstring)
Brisbane: Robinson (quad)