Geelong recorded their first win of the 2020 season with an emphatic 61-point win against rival Hawthorn at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.
It was a special occasion for Patrick Dangerfield, with the three-time Carji Greeves Medal winner celebrating his 250th AFL game.
We take at look at what we learnt from our victory over Hawthorn.
Geelong’s midfield depth has improved
For as long as coach Chris Scott can remember, he has constantly been asked ‘how do you build some depth behind the best couple of your midfielders’ – Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield.
“I thought tonight was as good of an example that I have seen in my time,” Scott said post-match.
“Not relying on Selwood and Dangerfield, I thought the other mids were at least as good as those guys.”
Some of those players Scott is referring to include Sam Menegola (23 disposals, seven score involvements), Brandan Parfitt (19 disposals, eight clearances) and Mitch Duncan (20 disposals). While Gryan Miers was able to get up the ground to win 20 disposals to go with his three goals.
They were particularly influential in the third term, taking control of the game when it was there to be won.
Senior stars benefit from extended break
Captain Joel Selwood and star forward Gary Ablett showed that they’ve benefitted from the shutdown period following influential performances in the win against the Hawks.
Selwood was brilliant from the outset and was a clear best on ground. He collected 28 disposals, eight clearances and a goal.
Ablett was equally as impressive and proved that he still has plenty left in his old legs yet.
The little master used the ball superbly. His vision to setup Stanley at the top of the square in the first quarter was a highlight. He finished the game with seven score involvements, 21 disposals and two goals.
Parfitt’s perfect mix
Another winner from the lockdown period has been Brandan Parfitt.
After labouring with a back issue during pre-season and not quite getting to the line in Round 1, Parfitt showed what he is capable of with a superb performance against the Hawks.
Parfitt’s ability to hold a formation, win clean inside ball and do the physical things around the contest complements the other Geelong midfielders.
He finished with 19 disposals, 10 tackles, eight clearances and four score involvements.
After an injury riddled start to his career, let’s hope he can get a good run at it this year.
Stanley stakes claim for No.1 Ruck
Rhys Stanley made the most of his opportunity after missing out on selection in Round 1.
He was particularly influential early in the game, giving his onballers first use and having a hand in the opening three goals of the game.
Stanley went on to be named in Geelong’s best after finishing the game with 14 disposals, 26 hit-outs, two goals and a game-high nine score involvements.
“I was really happy for Rhys. I thought he was terrific.”
“He has worked really hard on his game - I think he set the game up early.”
His performance capped off a special week following the birth of his second child earlier in the week.
Jack Steven isn’t far from a return
Chris Scott revealed in his post-match press conference that Jack Steven will come into contention to play Carlton in Round 3.
“He is clearly in our best team and we would like to play him. It is just a matter of timing and then trying to work out who goes out.”
“He is a flexible player Jack and it looks like he has embraced the way that we want him to play, which is important because whenever you bring in a new player it can upset the cohesion a little bit, but we think we have a few options with him.
“If he doesn’t play (next week) it will be a conservative call.”