Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JOSH BARNES

GEELONG will saunter out of Syd­ney in good spir­its rid­ing a three-match win­ning streak. So what did we learn about the Cats and Lions dur­ing Thurs­day night’s tus­sle?

1. There weren’t any alarm bells ring­ing in the first month af­ter the AFL restart, but Pa­trick Danger­field cer­tainly wasn’t fly­ing. He and the Cats were con­fi­dent he could still dom­i­nate games s like he did in his first years s with the club and he showed he can still be among the very best play­ers in the game on Thurs­day night. Danger­field’s 473m gained was the most on the ground and it was heart­warm­ing for Cats fans ns to see that trade­mark ac­cel­er­a­tion away from stop­pages re­turn.

2. With Tim Kelly now a mem­ory, Geelong car­ried some ques­tions into 2020 in terms of its engine room. Joel Sel­wood has been in­dus­tri­ous but the big im­provers in the mid­dle have been Cam Guthrie and Sam Mene­gola, who are in the best form of their re­spec­tive ca­reers. With Quin­ton Narkle and Mitch Dun­can on the side­lines early against Bris­bane, Sam Simp­son and Zach Tuohy took on more mid­field min­utes and were im­pres­sive. With Lachie Fog­a­rty, Char­lie Con­sta­ble, Jor­dan Clark and James Par­sons ready to go on the side­lines, Geelong ap­pears well pre­pared for an ex­pected rush of games. 3. Darcy Fort con­tin­ues to grow in his role as the main man for the Cats with Rhys Stan­ley in­jured. The South Bar­won prod­uct (above) wasn’t spec­tac­u­lar against the Lions but he won the ruck bat­tle, claim­ing more clear­ances than the two Lions in Ste­fan Martin and Os­car McIn­er­ney. The big Cat fol­lowed the play well on the deck and was able to ap­ply pres­sure around the con­test. With Max Gawn,

Jar­rod Witts, Martin and McIn­er­ney be­hind him, Fort now faces Brodie Grundy next week.

4. Head­ing into Round 6, it was per­haps a sur­prise to see Geelong at the top of the scor­ing list. On Thurs­day, the Cats at­tack looked deadly, par­tic­u­larly in the ram­pant third term. Tom Hawkins, Gary Ro­han and Esava Ratu­golea are all in good touch as mark­ing tar­gets, while Gary Ablett, Luke Dahlhaus and Gryan Miers are play­ing their roles at the feet. The Cats went in­side-50 38 times, five fewer than the Lions, but had a ro­bust 18 shots at goal.

5. Bris­bane Lions en­tered Round 5 as the worst side in terms of ac­cu­racy and that trend only grew worse. Waste­ful in front of goal in the first half, the Lions en­tered the main break hav­ing kicked 4.8 to the Cats’ 3.4 and with­out the big lead they prob­a­bly de­served. Bris­bane would only get four more shots for the match af­ter hav­ing missed their run. So far this year the Lions have kicked 59.77, con­vert­ing at 43 per cent.

Pic­ture: GETTY

Pa­trick Danger­field thanks fans at the SCG on Thurs­day night af­ter the Cats’ vic­tory over the Lions.

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