It’s a different game with different rules. After the first bounce the ball is hoofed off the ground, out of the air, it’s like the players are big birds with no hands. Cotch soccers it, Shai soccers it. Selwood picks it up with his human hands and kicks it OOF. Kamdyn gives it a huge whack along the ground and Sheds soccers it. As it goes out again Baker delivers a big bump to Dangerfield, and it’s dripping with contempt.
Another big defensive hoof off the ground by Balta. Shai is such a smart player. Look at how he uses his body and O’Connor’s momentum without pushing him. He just ushers him onto the ground, and although he goes to ground himself he is up literally in a blink.Embed from Getty Images
At 3 mins in Vlastuin and Ablett are injured within seconds of each other. Vlossy and Dangerfield converge on a ball, Dangerfield gets there first and punches it away. He has time to bend his arm to meet Vlossy’s head with his forearm. My gut feeling at the time was that it was instinctual to protect himself. I don’t like Dangerfield and could easily convince myself it was deliberate but in Grand Finals, that matters little. Nick was out before he hit the turf and gone for the day.Embed from Getty Images
Ablett hurts his dicky shoulder when tackled four seconds later by Cotchin. He went and had an injection and came back out, but it limited his output. He’s an old bloke who’s had surgery. That’s footy. We lost a key foundational player and they lost 30% of an old stager. So much has happened already and its still 0-0.
Dusty sweeps a big handpass backwards to Cotch among Cats, putting him under pressure but then helps tidy up. Short take a 2 bounce run. He and Baker are making lots of ground off half back. Nank is dominating.
We bomb it into 50, Henderson misses the ball with a fist and it would have been a stone cold goal to Sheds except he fumbled [inconceivable] then gets taken out below the knees by Stewart.
Shai’s hands are clean and his mind is clear. Look at this pick up. He has Dusty as an option but chooses George. Tuohy’s is an uphill battle.
Sam Menegola is the architect of Geelong’s first forward move after 10 minutes, leading to a Hawkins behind. Tiges still looking good. Graham is pinged for in the back on Danger, on 50. He kicks badly, its 0-2. Ablett appears on the boundary, crowd gets worked up.Embed from Getty Images
Prestia nails the first goal. Menegola dumps it straight to Short, who sends it back into 50, Bolton is the tall timber who brings it to ground where Sheds actually controls with his calf then soccers it to Rioli, who hands to Graham, who hands to Dion, two white flags. 6–2.
30 seconds later Dusty gets it on centre wing, turns inside and squares it to the corridor to Baker. He dishes a little handpass to the galloping Kamdyn who runs inside to 48 and always kicks these. 12-2.
Dangerfield takes on Shai and Dion and loses it, Martin hooks it to the goal line. We are dominating with 6 mins to QT. Lost of good ‘fragile Geelong’ signs. Broad is heading off-field with trainers. “Broad – appears to be not making much sense” – says Brian Taylor. All over the nation and beyond people mutter to their televisions ha – you’d know all about that BT.
With two key backs missing some gaps are appearing. Parfitt and Guthrie in turn take easy marks in space, and Guthrie goals. 13-8. I rate Guthrie. Ablett is tackling gingerly. Parfitt has been off and come back with a strapped thumb – it’s broken we later learn. The ball passes Ablett and he gives it a little poke, not keen to take possession.
Duncan with the ball in the forward pocket tried to do the Mexican Hat Dance to lose Dusty but his great defensive pressure rendered the kick harmless. Then another Duncan kick is OOF. Duncan is very tonguey. Edwards lays on a perfect kick for Bolton to run onto but Stewart got a hand to it. He’s sweeping very well.
Intruders on the ground. After they’re secured a spare security man runs across the ground back to his station BT: “oh it’s ANOTHER one”. Disinformation flows from this man. Ablett was clearly feeling his shoulder while BT talked about a leg injury.
BT and Bruce did not notice this but it seems neither did most people: Houli backheel straight to Cotchin from Ablett’s soccer. So deft.
Later we learned Bachar tore a calf muscle in the early minutes. It’s likely that this move was a response to feeling restricted in his ability to change direction or bend down.
Cotch kicks straight to Stanley. Stanley to Menegola and he has a choice of two as Duncan and Bews have just wandered forward. Pickett and Broad at fault. 43 seconds left. Goal to Duncan with 8 sec left. Super slow-mo tongue action, no-one needs to see that. It’s 2.2.13–to 2.2.14 at quarter time. The Gabba fills with pop music and suddenly the footballers sprint is happening. Geelong wins it.