It was hot at Kardinia Park on Saturday. Both teams were tired by three quarter time but the Geelong huddle revealed something else. They were buggered. The spirit had been drained out of the Cats by the relentless Dockers. Time and time again Geelong players who had every right to think they were about to send their team forward were dragged down in strong tackles.
The Cats didn’t score in the second half and the final margin of 36 points could have, should have, been greater. Fremantle kicked 3.8 in the last quarter. Geelong didn’t give up – in fact great marks by Phoebe McWilliams and Madeline Boyd in consecutive plays were last quarter highlights – but they were trapped.
Kiara Bowers again starred for the Dockers – her tackling is almost manic but she also gets the ball a lot and uses it well. Dana Hooker (left) tracks the ball expertly and had a great influence on the game, Kara Donnellan was highly effective and was robbed of a goal when a push in the back wasn’t paid in the second quarter, Alicia Janz helped combat Geelong’s height advantage, Gemma Houghton was again outstanding and if she fixes up her kicking will be even more devastating, Stephanie Cain didn’t get much room this week but her kicking was excellent, Hayley Miller won contests and showed speed, Evie Gooch didn’t lose a one-on-one and Parris Laurie was competitive all day and played an outstanding last quarter.
Megan McDonald, Maddy McMahon and McWilliams were the best of the Cats who started well enough and had the home crowd humming for a while.
It was my first visit to Kardinia Park since Saturday 14 August 2004 and after that horrible experience I’d vowed never to return. But a visit to Melbourne to see the mighty John Prine at the Palais Theatre provided this AFLW opportunity and I’m glad I took it.
Fremantle 6.13 (49) Geelong 2.1 (13)
A previous visit….