Fri, Jun 24, 5:42pm by Kevin Pitstock
When and Where:
1.10pm at Skilled Stadium
Geelong – 15
Adelaide – 15
Draws – 0
Last Time They Met:
Adelaide 11.8 (74) defeated Geelong 9.9 (63), round 16, 2010 at AAMI Stadium
Geelong – WWWWW
Adelaide – LLLLL
Current Ladder Positions:
Geelong – 1st (12-0)
Adelaide – 14th (3-9)
This season is Tom Hawkins’ fifth on Geelong’s list, and he’s starting to become a massive headache for the Cats’ coaching staff, match committee and supporters. The 22-year-old has played just eight of 12 games this season, for a poor return of five goals and average of 10 disposals and four marks per game. Hawkins has spent the past month in the VFL, trying to regain some confidence and form up forward. He gets another chance in the senior team on Sunday afternoon. But the challenge isn’t just to perform well on Sunday, but to perform well for a month or two after.
Ricky Henderson repaid coach Neil Craig for having faith in him last weekend with a career-best performance against Western Bulldogs. The 22-year-old was a shining light in an otherwise dull night for the Crows. Henderson had some great numbers, accumulating 28 possessions, nine marks, four tackles and six inside 50’s. Ideally he would’ve loved to have hit the scoreboard more, but you can’t blame him because he didn’t have much support from his teammates. The challenge for Henderson now is to hit the scoreboard, a task easier said than done, especially against a quality outfit like the Cats.
Geelong Team Changes:
IN – Tom Hawkins, Mitch Brown, Tom Gillies and Allen Christensen
OUT – Josh Hunt (suspension), Darren Milburn (calf), Mathew Stokes (suspension) and Nathan Vardy (soreness)
Adelaide Team Changes:
IN – Brent Reilly, Richard Tambling, Ian Callinan
OUT – Brad Symes, Chris Schmidt and Jack Gunston
GEELONG – Mitch Brown (20, Sandringham)
ADELAIDE – Ian Callinan (28, Central Districts)
Let’s be quick on this one.
Geelong keeps winning, despite the challenges that keep coming its way. We have to remember this team has been near the top of the ladder for five years now, yet it seems like it’s never been so strong. Perhaps the biggest reason behind the Cats’ success in 2011 has been the introduction of its new kids, with Taylor Hunt, Nathan Vardy, Mitch Duncan and Daniel Menzel – Round 13’s NAB Rising Star nomination – all adding different dimensions to the team.
Despite sitting 14th on the ladder, some think Adelaide is the worst team in the competition. The Crows have lost their past five games and – barring a spirited effort against Collingwood – have never looked like taking the four points away. There’s a big question mark over small defender Graham Johncock at the moment. He’s an outstanding rebound player and is averaging an impressive 20 disposals per game this season. But his one-on-one defensive ability has been exposed in the past two weeks, with his direct opponents – Mark LeCras and Giansiracusa – kicking a combined nine goals on him. Coach Neil Craig needs to sort something out.
The Cats will be without a host of senior players on Sunday. Josh Hunt, Darren Milburn and Mathew Stokes are out of the team, while Jimmy Bartel and James Kelly are no certainties to play. Still expect the Geelong ‘reserves’ team to have few issues against the Crows.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:
Geelong line -50.5 ($2.10 – Sportsbet)
Also Sportingbet Australia is doing a first goal scorer special on the AFL, on top of the usual first goal scorer payout. If your first goal scorer bet scores the second goal, the guys at Sportingbet will pay you out as well! If he kicks the first two, they will pay you double! Get on!
Other Suggested Bets:
First Goal Scorer – Daniel Menzel on Sportingbet
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