So much of last year’s football palace intrigue centred on just how far the AFL would go to change the rules of the game in response to some meta-elements of the game it found unsatisfactory.
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Geelong have made it a Mother’s Day to remember on Sunday, after defeating a wasteful Collingwood by 20 points at the MCG.
Both sides came into this contest on the back of wins the week before, but it was a blow to the Pies before the game started, skipper Scott Pendlebury failing to get up from an ankle injury that he suffered last week.
Both Geelong and Collingwood went hard at the ball in the opening quarter. It was a tough contest, with goals hard to come by, until Jackson Thurlow broke the drought with a bouncing goal from 55 meters out.
The Cats went into the main break with a slender 7-point lead, and the second quarter was no different from the first, with bodies flying at the ball, but both teams struggling to score.
It wasn’t until the final minute before half-time that Stewart Crameri was able to quickly snap the ball out of a pack to give Geelong their first goal of the quarter, before the returning Gary Ablett kicked another only seconds later to give the Cats two on the trot, heading into the half time break with a 19-point lead.
After a goalless second quarter, the Pies came out firing, booting two early goals to reduce the lead to seven points, but Geelong were able to slow the play, and kicked the next three goals to push the lead out to 17 points coming into the final break.
The start of the last quarter was much the same as the second for Collingwood. They had plenty of opportunities, but struggled to convert, while Geelong continued to hold the Pies goalless.
Brodie Grundy kicked their first goal halfway through the quarter, but the equation became harder as the game went on, with Collingwood needing four goals in four minutes.
While the Magpies kept coming, Geelong’s pressure proved too much for Collingwood, with the Cats running home eventual 20 point winners.
The best for Geelong was returning master, Gary Ablett, with 32 disposal and a goal, while Sam Menegola led the goalkickers with three.
Collingwood were led by Adam Treloar with 34 touches, and Jack Crisp had 32 himself.
There were no injuries for Geelong, but the Pies lost Darcy Moore with a hamstring injury, and Tom Phillips due to concussion.
Geelong look to next week, where they take on a struggling Essendon outfit on Saturday afternoon at the MCG, whilst the Magpies will take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.