One could understand Melbourne being beaten for run after so many of their prime movers endured interrupted pre-seasons. It also didn’t entirely surprise that Melbourne — with three men playing their first games for the club — looked disorganised at times, being warned for a starting positions infringement early in the game.
What was galling for the Dees was that having been hammered for not being tough enough in last weekend’s loss to Port Adelaide, Melbourne were thrashed in the clinches when the game was alive.
Contested ball has been Simon Goodwin side’s 1-wood but at quarter-time they trailed 63-39 for contested possessions, and unsurprisingly by 23 points on the scoreboard.
After a tight second quarter, the Demons remained alive — albeit just — at half-time, and made most of the play early in the third quarter. However Melbourne squandered their chances, going goalless from 20 inside 50s for the term, while the Cats kicked 6.0 from 10 entries.
Playing his first game for the Dees, defender Steven May was hampered by a leg issue and didn’t play out the game. And after a week in the headlines, Max Gawn rucked well but had limited impact around the ground.
But things look rosy for Geelong, notwithstanding an injury to backman Jack Henry. Patrick Dangerfield had 22 disposals to half-time, prompting the Dees to send tagger James Harmes to the Brownlow Medallist, who in turn headed forward and kicked two second-half goals.
Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan’s sublime finishing capped off industrious performances, recruits Luke Dahlhaus and Gary Rohan were both lively up forward, and second-gamer Charlie Constable found a stack of the ball.
Way to go, Dees
It’s unlikely to live in infamy like Ricky Ponting’s decision to bowl first at Edgbaston in 2005, but Melbourne’s decision at the coin toss was a head-scratcher. The Dees decided to kick towards the Players Stand end in the first term. However it was clear within minutes that the breeze was blowing strongly towards the City End of the ground. It was hardly the be all and end all — the wind couldn’t be blamed for Melbourne routinely being second to the ball — but with the breeze at their backs, the Cats piled on six goals to two in the first quarter. It wouldn’t have looked like such a poor call had the breeze not died down by early in the second quarter, meaning it couldn’t help Melbourne back into the game.
Chips are down
Don’t accuse the Geelong locals of being inhospitable. Having come off worse for wear in a collision with Rohan, Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw got pedalling on the stationary bike to limit the damage. The bike was positioned very close to the fence, and where a fan was sitting eating a pack of salt and vinegar chips. Sharing is caring, so the patron got Brayshaw’s attention and offered him a chip. The Demon politely declined, typical of a night on which Melbourne left empty-handed.
Best: Geelong: Dangerfield, Selwood, Kelly, Stewart, Dahlhaus, Taylor, Hawkins, ConstableMelbourne: Oliver, Gawn, Brayshaw, Viney
Votes: Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) 8 Joel Selwood (Geelong) 7 Tim Kelly (Geelong) 7 Clayton Oliver (Melbourne) 7 Tom Stewart (Geelong) 7
Daniel is an Age sports reporter.