GEELONG recorded its second straight win with a thrilling five-point victory against Hawthorn on Easter Monday.
We reflect on the win in this week’s edition of ‘By The Numbers’ presented by Deakin’s Centre for Sport Research.
Cam’s Career-high Night
Cameron Guthrie was superb in Geelong’s narrow five-point win against the Hawks on Easter Monday recording a career-best 43 disposals.
He not only accumulated possessions at will but importantly was deadly with his disposal, particularly inside the contest, operating at 81.4% efficiency.
Last year’s Carji Greeves Medallist also finished with a game-highs for ground ball gets (10) and inside 50s (6) to round out a complete performance.
O’Connor’s Offensive Impact
After a brilliant shutdown role on Lachie Neale last week, Mark O’Connor went toe-to-toe with another Brownlow Medal winner in Tom Mitchell.
O’Connor was particularly impressive in the first half, trailing only Guthrie and Mitch Duncan for most disposals for the Cats while helping nullify one of the game’s best inside midfielders.
“The pleasing thing for me is that I thought he was fantastic offensively today, it wasn’t as if he was just hanging off the back of a really good player,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said post-game.
O’Connor finished with 26 disposals and eight clearances, getting the better of Mitchell who finished with 24 touches and three clearances.
The Irishman was also the leading Cat for pressure acts with 26.
Jack of All Trades
Heading into the Round Jack Henry had only nine career goals to this name. However, his two-goal performance in attack for the Cats was arguably the winning play.
He not only finished off his opportunities but set them up for his teammates too. His intercept during the final quarter setup a brilliant transition goal to teammate Jordan Clark and helped the Cats hold on.
Hendo One Hundred Percent Committed
Lachie Henderson was another Cat who found himself in Geelong’s best after an intercepting masterclass down back.
The key back for the Cats recorded a game-high 10 intercepts, double that of the next best player on the ground.
When the final siren sounded, he was the only player to play 100% game time.
With just a kick in it and little separating the two teams when it came to disposals, stoppages and overall efficiency, it was surprising to find that Geelong had a clear lead in one team statistics category, one percenters.
The Hawks brought the heat in the final term but Geelong’s ability to do the little things throughout the contest helped them hold on.
Jake Kolodjashnij set to standard for others to follow with seven for the game as the Cats occupied three of the top four spots by the final siren.
Duncan’s Dominant Return
Mitch Duncan found plenty of the footy in his first AFL game of the season after a calf strain saw him sit-out the opening two rounds.
Duncan finished with 37 disposals and a game-high 566 metres gained.
After a couple of uncharacteristic errors by foot in the first half, Duncan got better as the game progressed and was crucial in the final quarter.