Main content

Five talking points: Geelong v St Kilda

Highlights: Geelong v St Kilda The Cats and Saints clash in round four

1. Menzel the Magician
Everyone at Geelong marvels at the silky skills of Daniel Menzel. His five-goal haul was a rare highlight of what really was a mundane contest. Three goals in the second quarter broke open the game, the last one a superb shot from near the boundary line into a light breeze. And the grateful Cats haven't yet seen the best of their opportunist forward. This was only his 64th game after those early years dogged by serious knee injuries.

WATCH:Magnificent Menzel snags a handful

2. Old mates chasing bragging rights
Mutual respect was abundant when rival captains Joel Selwood and Jarryn Geary prepared to toss the coin before the start of the game. It was no surprise that there was a short embrace rather than the obligatory handshake. The Cats and Saints skippers are best mates from way back to their schoolboy days. Long before they played together for Bendigo in the under-18s competition, Geary was a regular after-school fixture in the backyard battles with the Selwood brothers. Selwood is less than a month older and he made his AFL debut in 2007 with a season headstart on his good friend Geary.

CATS CRUISE HOME: Full match coverage and stats

3. Another example of review uncertainty
Score reviews will be in the spotlight again after a St Kilda goal just before half-time. Saint Paddy McCartin roosted a long shot from just outside 50m and his direct opponent Mark Blicavs lunged running with the flight of the dropping ball in the goalsquare. Blicavs immediately signalled he had touched it after the goal umpire signalled just the Saints' third goal of the first half. The score review showed the ball passing between Blicavs' outstretched hands and eventually the original decision stood, much to the Cats defender's dismay.


4. Tough job for a local boy
The controversial goal was a rare success for McCartin in what was a tough "homecoming". McCartin, who turns 22 on Thursday, went to school at St Joseph's College in Newtown and was recruited from Geelong under-18s team. The 2014 draft's No.1 pick faced enormous scrutiny and expectations as St Kilda's prime target in the absence of Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey. He worked hard, but too many of his kicks were out of scoring range and those high balls were easily mopped up by Geelong defenders, led by Tom Stewart and Blicavs. St Kilda's forward set-up continues to be a major issue with just 19 goals in the past three rounds. 

5. Down the highway to hell
Fortress is an apt description for Geelong's home stadium, particularly against the Saints. No current St Kilda player has tasted success down near Corio Bay, with defeats of 102 points in 2013 and 96 points the following season in the Saints' previous visits to GMHBA Stadium. With its narrow wings and local fans packing the stands, Geelong enjoys a degree of home intimidation similar to Adelaide, Perth and Sydney. Only random pockets of red, white and black flags appeared behind the northern end goals and one of the southern pockets after a St Kilda goal. The Saints haven't won at the Cattery since round 10, 1999.