By Ollie Nash and Liam Melrose
Patrick Dangerfield was at his very best in the Cats win over Collingwood. Photo: Quinn Rooney
Dangerfield stands up for Cats when they need him most
Patrick Dangerfield’s semi-final performance was a mirror image of his 2017 Semi-Final performance against the Sydney Swans at the MCG. On both occasions, Geelong have had their backs against the wall, with Dangerfield going forward to kick multiple goals helping his side over the line in win or go home scenarios.
In the 2017 Semi-Final he kicked 4.3 and finished with 26 disposals as the Cats went onto defeat Sydney by 59 points. On Saturday night with shortened quarters the superstar Cat kicked 4 goals and finished with 19 disposals as Geelong went on to win by 68 points. If he can replicate this performance against Brisbane on Saturday night Geelong may very well be on their way to their first Grand Final in almost ten years.
2016 Bulldogs feat even more impressive
The biggest story to come out of Collingwood’s loss to Geelong on Saturday night for me was just how impressive the 2016 Western Bulldog’s premiership was. The Dogs finished seventh that year, won a final in Perth and Sydney and beat the three-time reigning premiers at the MCG.
If Collingwood was to go all the way, it was going to be a similar path for them, winning Perth and then the Gabba for three straight weeks. Their 68-point loss to Geelong just showed footy fans how hard it is to win a flag from outside the top-four.
Mentally and physically it’s a huge effort, especially after such an emotional elimination final win against West Coast last week. So, Pies fans, there’s no shame in that loss, if history tells us anything, it should have been expected.
Tom Lynch was a handy addition to the Richmond team on Friday night. Photo: AAP/Dave Hunt
Physical Tom a finals player
The only thing coaches ask of their key forwards is to bring the ball to ground and not get out-marked. In finals, this becomes even more vital. Richmond’s Tom Lynch provided that and more in the Tigers 31-point win over St Kilda on Friday night.
Once again, he was in the headlines for an indiscretion, pushing his knee down onto Dougal Howard’s shoulder. However, despite this and his wayward kicking, he was superb. Seven shots on goal for two majors, 17 disposals and six marks, two of which were contested.
It was his impact on the contest that was more important though, crashing packs and helping small forwards Shai Bolton, Jason Castagna and Daniel Rioli get first use on the ground and hit the scoreboard.
A ‘Battle’ hardened warrior
There’s always stories of players playing while injured during the AFL Finals. Josh Battle was another added to that list on Friday night. He disappeared from the field for almost 30 minutes. It was later revealed he had broken his foot at the eighth minute mark of the second quarter.
While Battle didn’t dominate the contest, he was able to play through the pain and come back onto the field to take a strong contested mark, and kick a much-needed inspiring goal for the Saints to help keep them in the game. He also providing another option up forward to help take the pressure off Max King and Tim Membrey.
Cover Photo: News Corp Australia