AFL 1 year ago

Planes, Lazarus and a hooker

  • Planes, Lazarus and a hooker
                   

There’s an old footy saying that goes a bit like this. Footy is a lot like air travel: it’s not your altitude that matters, but your attitude.

Before last weekend, Geelong were sitting on high in second position on the ladder, whilst Collingwood were languishing in 12th spot. The Cats were obviously quite comfortable with where they were at. On the back of good wins against two 2015 finalists, they had emerged as favorites to win this year’s flag. And apart from an impressive win against Brisbane the previous week, Collingwood had been playing without system or intensity. Surely all the Cats had to do was to turn up at the MCG on Saturday afternoon to claim the points.

Sadly this was not the case. The Magpies were the ones who had the correct attitude, running hard, wanting the ball more and shutting down Geelong’s space. A seven goal to none first quarter all but sealed the game. Geelong did well to get back to within eight points in the last quarter, but Collingwood were not to be denied. Wasted opportunities in front of goal ultimately proved fatal and the Pies went on to win by four goals.

On a personal level I guess I should have paid more attention to the pre-flight safety demonstration, as I was not prepared for the turbulence we were about to encounter. My seat back was in the upright position and my tray table was locked away, but I had failed to adopt the brace position.

From the very first bounce Chris Scott’s flight plan was not working. Geelong’s ground speed was non-existent and Levi Greenwood had Joel Selwood in a holding pattern. How the Magpies got away with such a large amount of carry-on was beyond me. By quarter time I was reaching for the sick bag and the exits (which incidentally are here, here…and here)

I would expect that Chris Scott’s job now is to collect the data from the black box, analyse it and hopefully come up with some answers before next week’s game against Carlton. It’s another game where Geelong will start as hot favorites, but that will stand for nothing if the players don’t turn up ready to play. The Blues were flying high with four wins in a row prior to their heavy loss to ladder leaders North Melbourne, and coach Brendon Bolton has them playing with spirit. Combine that with a little luck and anything can happen.

Carlton have surprisingly named both Levi Casboult and Matthew Kreuzer in their extended list for Sunday’s game. They still have to pass fitness tests, but with both players almost being given the last rites during the week if they were to play, it would be considered the greatest comeback since Lazarus, or even “your mum!”

If Kreuzer doesn’t play, Geelong ruckmen Zac Smith and Rhys Stanley will have the perfect opportunity to give their on-ballers first use of the ball and set the tone of the match. Ed Curnow will probably go to Selwood as he has done well on him in the past. So, perhaps Selwood can then sit on Bryce Gibbs, freeing up someone like Duncan or Caddy to be a major conduit to the forward line.

Hopefully the Cats will have learned from last week, because I don’t want to be John Lee Hooker singing the blues two weeks in a row.

               

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