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2020 Toyota AFL Premiership
Preliminary Finals • Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats
42 6.6
Full Time Cats by 40
82 11.16
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    MATCH PREVIEW

    MEGA-PREVIEW: Lions v Cats, stats that matter, who wins and why

    Brisbane is on fire and at home, but Geelong has been here many times before

    Brisbane and Geelong will face off in a blockbuster preliminary final at the Gabba on Saturday night. Picture: AFL Media

    SUMMARY

    The last time Brisbane played in a preliminary final it was against – you guessed it, Geelong, in 2004. On that occasion the Lions were forced to 'host' the game at the MCG against the young Cats, but this time around it'll be held at the Gabba. Geelong is fresh off a demolition of Collingwood that saw all of its prime-movers in peak form, while the Lions put their feet up for a week after breaking a 15-game hoodoo against Richmond in the qualifying final. 

    WHERE AND WHEN: the Gabba, Saturday October 17, 6.40pm AEST (7.40pm AEDT)
    TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

    WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR?

    Round 6: Geelong 11.7 (73) d Brisbane 6.10 (46)
    After the Lions held a narrow lead at half-time, Geelong unleashed one of the best quarters by any team this season. Led by Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Menegola and Joel Selwood in the midfield and Tom Hawkins and Gary Ablett in the forward half, they slammed on seven unanswered goals in the third quarter to storm home comfortable winners. 

    06:00 Mins
    Published on

    Highlights: Geelong v Brisbane

    The Cats and Lions clash in round six

    Published on

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR

    Brisbane
    Watching Dangerfield run amok as a key forward at the weekend would have given the Lions some headaches. Harris Andrews will be occupied with Tom Hawkins, leaving Darcy Gardiner or possibly Ryan Lester to mind 'Danger' when he plays forward. Wingers Mitch Robinson, Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry will need to work hard back into defence to clog up space. At the other end, expect the Lions' mobile forwards to bring their opponents high up the ground to leave plenty of space inside 50. 

    Geelong
    The Cats bullied Brisbane's midfield in their clash earlier this season, using their bigger bodies to dominate contested ball and clearances as the foundation for victory. This will again be the blueprint for success. Watch for the work of Mark Blicavs. Not only does the competition's best runner get back to help his defence when he's playing on the wing, but when Blicavs goes into the ruck to relieve Rhys Stanley, he'll also drop behind the ball to help the back six. His influence is crucial in slowing down Brisbane's attack. 

    00:34 Mins
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    How does Blicavs get this much power on the left?

    Mark Blicavs hacks a massive bomb inside 50 on his opposite foot which somehow manages to bounce through

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    WHAT THE STATS SAY

    1. Both teams are undefeated at the Gabba in 2020. Brisbane are a perfect 10-for-10, while Geelong has won all four of its matches by an average of 56 points.
    2. It should be no surprise which two Geelong players have stepped their game up the most from the home and away season to the finals. Joel Selwood is averaging 15.8 AFL Player Ratings points a game during the finals, up from 8.6, while Patrick Dangerfield is at 17.7, up from 13.6.
    3. Geelong has a huge edge in experience at this time of year. Only five Lions, including Allen Christensen who will not play, have played preliminary finals. Conversely, from last week's 22 Sam Simpson is the only Cat to never play a match this deep into the season. Selwood will play his 10th preliminary final and Harry Taylor his ninth.
    4. In the round six clash, Geelong's dominance resulted in season lows for Brisbane in disposal differential, clearance differential, uncontested possession differential, marks and scores from clearance differential.
    5. Geelong's game-style is distinctive. It loves to possess the ball, ranked first in the AFL for disposals differential (+43) and kicks the ball forwards less than any team in the competition (83 percent of the time). The Cats are lethal when they get the ball inside 50, scoring on 44 percent of entries, to be ranked second. The only team that scores more efficiently? Brisbane.

    IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

    Harris Andrews
    The dual All Australian has the better of most forwards in the competition, but one man that gives him trouble is Tom Hawkins. The powerful Cat kicked three goals from 15 disposals in round six and it's not the first time he's got Andrews' number. In 2018 Hawkins kicked seven goals on the Lion, who was returning from a month out. When Hawkins was kept goalless in 2019, Marcus Adams was his defender.

    2019 and 2020 All-Australian bookends Tom Hawkins and Harris Andrews will face off in the prelim. Picture: AFL Photos

    Patrick Dangerfield
    It's the fifth time the Brownlow medalist has made it to the second last weekend of the season and he's yet to make a Grand Final. It's a record Dangerfield will be desperate to change. Personally, his numbers are fantastic in preliminary finals, and the 30-year-old will again be central to his team's chances of success. 

    PREDICTION: Brisbane by eight points. A virtual toss of the coin, this should be tight the whole way.

    MATCH REPORT

    Fifth time lucky: Cats break prelim hoodoo, Lions' flag dream over

    Inspired by champion veteran Gary Ablett, the Cats have ended the Lions' dream of a premiership on home soil

    Gary Rohan celebrates a goal during Geelong's preliminary final win over Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

    THE GARY Ablett show will have a final act.

    A Grand Final act, to be completely accurate, after the champion Cat helped steer Geelong to a commanding 40-point win over Brisbane in Saturday night's preliminary final. 

    LIONS v CATS Full match coverage and stats 

    It means although this year's flag decider has been shifted to Queensland, in what is the starkest example of COVID-19's impact on football, the 2020 premiership will head back to Victoria as the Cats take on fellow powerhouse Richmond at the Gabba next Saturday night. 

    07:19 Mins
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    Highlights: Brisbane v Geelong

    The Lions and Cats clash in the second Preliminary Final

    Published on

    It is the first time since 2011 – when the Cats overcame Collingwood to claim the premiership – that it will be an all-Victorian Grand Final.  

    Ablett was no bit-part player in the Cats' 11.16 (82) to 6.6 (42) win over the Lions, with his brilliant third term helping elevate Geelong to a comprehensive victory over the home side. 

    FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED The Little Master had one last Grand plan

    The retiring all-time great kicked two goals for the quarter – one from a controversial missed throw (or score assist) from Patrick Dangerfield and the other a vintage on-the-run chip from the 50m line – to ensure he will finish his career under lights searching for a dream third flag with the Cats in his 357th game.  

    00:42 Mins
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    The Little Master kicks two in a matter of minutes

    Gary Ablett kicks a pair of classy goals for the Cats

    Published on

    Geelong's win broke a run of four preliminary final defeats and sets up a monster clash with the Tigers to decide the unprecedented premiership with both sides based away from home for more than 100 days. Chris Scott will be shooting for his second flag with the club as senior coach. 

    It was a disappointing finals exit for the Lions, who joined Port Adelaide as bowing out at the last hurdle despite qualifying final victories and a week's rest.

    HEAVEN SENT Cats pray Gabba record will help bring down Tigers

    Brisbane hung in against the Cats for the first three quarters but the Lions will rue the way they played in the penultimate clash, with their dare, flair and line-breaking run missing.  

    Gary Rohan booted three goals and Tom Hawkins also kicked two in a strong forward performance, while the Cats' midfield unit of Mitch Duncan (22 disposals), Sam Menegola (19) and Dangerfield (17) was also important. Tom Stewart in defence was also among the Cats' best.  

    00:52 Mins
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    Rohan spins, sprints and snaps the goal

    Gary Rohan uses his smarts to kick a goal and extend Geelong's lead

    Published on

    Nothing came off for the Lions, with Brownlow Medal favourite Lachie Neale (24 disposals, two goals) their best in a flat end to such a promising campaign.  

    FAGAN Lions to learn from Danger, Cats' growth from disappointment

    Geelong's early ascendancy set the tone but it took the Cats time to make the most of it.  

    The Lions, meanwhile, were steered by Charlie Cameron, whose two opening-quarter goals kept them within four points of the Cats at the first break despite a midfield masterclass that saw Geelong record 15 clearances to four.

    00:37 Mins
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    Lions draw first blood as Charlie splits the middle

    Brisbane fans are on their feet as Charlie Cameron scores the first goal of the match

    Published on

    Geelong could have blown the game apart in the second quarter but failed to capitalise on its opportunities. Hawkins got involved again, while a long-range snap to Rohan extended the Cats' lead to 21 points, before two against-the-play goals to Brisbane saw the Lions claw back within five points by half-time. 

    00:53 Mins
    Published on

    Neale drills it home from outside 50

    Lachie Neale gathers a loose ball and kicks a massive goal at full speed

    Published on

    But it didn't tell the true story of the clash. Although Brisbane's engine room lifted in the second quarter, Geelong's experienced core had clearly taken the grip over the game at the coalface.  

    The Cats had extended that lead to 18 points at the last change and could have had it sealed if not for the inaccuracy. Brisbane kept in the game in the last quarter, with Neale's second long-range bomb giving the Lions some hope in front of a rapturous home crowd.  

    But Brisbane was left needing more, and Geelong was in no mood to let it happen. While grinding out the preliminary final win and holding Brisbane at bay, the Cats had one eye already on the Tigers with everything on the line.  

    BRISBANE    2.0    4.3    5.5    6.6 (42)
    GEELONG     2.5    4.8    7.11    11.16 (82)

    GOALS
    Brisbane:
     Cameron 2, Neale 2, Hipwood, Rayner 
    Geelong: Rohan 3, Ablett 2, Hawkins 2, Miers, Tuohy, Parfitt, Henry

    BEST
    Brisbane:
     Neale, Rich, Lyons, Lester, Zorko
    Geelong: Duncan, Stewart, Dangerfield, Ablett, Hawkins, Rohan 

    INJURIES
    Brisbane:
     Darcy Gardiner (knee) replaced in selected side by Jack Payne, Birchall (hamstring) 
    Geelong: Nil

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