R1 – Geelong v St Kilda – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It was a grandstand finish at Kardinia Park (worthy of a Joel Selwood Grandstand), as the never-say-die Saints came back hard at the Cats after it appeared as though the game was over.

When Tom Hawkins got his first decisive win over Zaine Cordy for the evening, marking and kicking his first goal with 12 minutes remaining, Geelong looked home. It was their third goal in seven minutes and all the momentum was with the Cats.

It was time to celebrate.

It was time to soak in the atmosphere of a full Kardinia Park for the first time in a couple of years, and the first time for many, many years to come.

And then the Saints almost spoiled the party.

In a withering blast, the Saints slammed on three goals in four minutes, threatening to do the unthinkable, and shutting down the party at the Cattery.

However, the Cats had one more trick of their own, and they looked to their captain to deliver it. After an intercept mark at 45 metres out, Patrick Dangerfield went back, lined up and looked like he sprayed the ball out to the left. As the crowd groaned, it was as though the ball responded, swinging wildly back toward the big sticks and sliding through to give the Cats a seven point lead.

And that was that.

The Saints were huge – anyone who believes their 2023 was an anomaly might be ready to reconsider after this game.

But in the end, it was the Cats’ night. They stood up under pressure. They defended the fortress. And they started their 2024 with four points.

Let’s jump into the Mongrel’s good, bad, and ugly.


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