Cats prevail in Dogs ‘mystery show’

Dylan Carmody Roar Guru

By , Dylan Carmody is a Roar Guru

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    It was a tale of two sides on Friday night: Geelong shone brightly while the Dogs continued their topsy-turvy start to the season.

    After a tumultuous week in which the Cats were blasted by experts, fans and even their own coach as being “disgraceful” – those are Chris Scott’s words, not mine – Geelong came out like a house on fire.

    Despite trailing by nine points at the end of the first quarter, the Cats had laid 28 tackles on their opposition, sending a strong message to anyone who had doubted their intent.

    In a match that resembled a finals game due to its intensity and hard-hitting nature, the Cats’ hard work began to pay off, and a five-goal blitz in the second half gave them a 26-point buffer going into the half-time break.

    Despite the Bulldogs roaring back into the game in the third quarter, booting six goals to one, they were eventually overrun by the Geelong pressure in the last term, the Cats prevailing as 23 point victors, snapping their three-game losing streak.

    It was in stark contrast to the previous week’s performance by the Cattery, with 100 more tackles than they had against the Bombers, and proves that Geelong aren’t done just yet.

    Patrick Dangerfield was a class above the rest, finishing with 36 touches, ten clearances, 12 tackles and four goals, one of which came from a tight angle on the boundary.

    The Selwood brothers also ran riot, with Joel collecting 29 disposals and Scott with 17 tackles, while Harry Taylor slotted five goals, continuing his fine start up forward.

    It speaks wonders of the Cats, who responded strongly to Chris Scott’s plea to tackle harder and utilise the ball better. They tackled harder and bullied the young Bulldogs side at times, and their pressure was reminiscent of the Geelong of old.

    It was the opposite side of the story for the Dogs, who were dominated in the second and last quarters.

    They went scoreless in the second quarter, and while they fought hard to get back into the contest in the third, even managing to grab a nine-point lead, the Bulldogs looked exhausted in the last quarter, when the Cats eventually ran over the top of them.

    Mitch Wallis was fantastic coming back from return, as was Lin Jong and Caleb Daniel, but it was the big names for the Dogs that went missing, which would be concerning for Luke Beveridge.

    Marcus Bontempelli managed only 19 disposals and missed three goals, and recruit Travis Cloke only had one goal after returning from a rib injury.

    The Dogs have now slid to eighth on the ladder with a 5-4 record. Their wins have come against struggling sides such as Brisbane and Collingwood, and they have defeated only one top-eight side so far.

    Losses have been close against the Giants and the Eagles, but their wins have been as equally close against the Tigers and North Melbourne.

    After the match Luke Beveridge described his side’s form as a “mystery show”, sort of like the X-Files, and he bemoaned the fact that the team had yet to find the consistency that it maintained through the 2016 finals series.

    While the Cats are looking towards another game in front of their home crowd at Simonds Stadium against the Power, the Dogs will have to face another challenge against a young and up-and-coming St Kilda outfit.

    With positions on the ladder being so hotly contested and only two wins now separating first and 11th, the Dogs will be hoping to find some consistent form in the near future.