Finishing their season in a thumping win, the Geelong Cats’ experience produced a faultless performance that put pressure on the Sydney Swans’ midfield and backline. The win catapulted the Cats into fifth place on the ladder which will reward them with a home final.
It’s the relative number of games played by the Geelong Cats outfit that lifted them to the win at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night, proving that you cannot buy nous and experience in the competition.
The 75-point win was the second-highest win in AFLW history behind the Crows’ win against GWS earlier this season and 102 was the Cats’ highest score in their AFLW history.
Amy McDonald and Georgie Prespakis have 53 games combined experience but compared to Sydney’s young brigade of Montana Ham, Bridie Kennedy, and Lexi Hamilton, the Geelong pair showed their composure and ball-winning ability.
McDonald kicked a goal combined with 34 disposals, four tackles, and 11 clearances, while Prespakis had 27 touches, four marks, three tackles, and five clearances. The pair had 40 disposals (Prespakis had 21 and McDonald had 19) between them until halftime.
Another massive contributor on the day was forward Chloe Scheer. Crossing from the Crows ahead of season six, she has quietly crept up to 36 games.
Getting more supply from the midfield this season has helped Scheer shine kicking 13 goals from 10 games in comparison to eight from one less game last season.
Scheer kicked 4.2 from her 10 disposals along with two marks, showing that she is just growing in stature at the level alongside the Cats’ young stars. She was joined by Shelley Scott, Jackie Parry, and Kate Darby who kicked two goals each in the contest.
A few shining lights in the midfield for Sydney were young ruck Ally Morphett and first-year player Cynthia Hamilton.
After coming over from the Giants, the 18-year-old Morphett has been a find for the Swans this season and against the Cats, she kicked a goal to go with twelve disposals, two tackles, four marks, and 11 hit-outs.
Hamilton was solid for a midfield that was simply outclassed, she amassed 19 disposals of her own to go with five clearances and four tackles.
With repeated entries into the forward 50 causing pressure to mount on the Swans’ backline, it was Bella Smith that stood up. She had 15 touches, two marks and a tackle, remaining composed and withstanding the avalanche of entries.
Inside forward 50 the Cats were lethal converting 73 per cent of their entries to scores which left the Swans’ backline constantly under the pump.
One concern for the Cats is the ankle injury to Prespakis that occurred late in the final quarter, with an elimination final to come next weekend against the Kangaroos, she will be vital in the midfield battle.
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