Shocked Sydney licks its wounds
GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield has challenged former side Adelaide to “bring it on” ahead of what shapes as a blockbuster preliminary final on Friday night.
Fresh from a brilliant fourgoal performance which set up a 59-point win for the Cats in their semi-final against Sydney, Dangerfield said he “can’t wait” to head back to Adelaide and take on the minor premier.
Geelong completed a 110point turnaround against the Swans, having suffered a 51point qualifying final loss to Richmond at the MCG which led to serious soul-searching.
“I was pretty fired up, so was our side, so were our coaches,” Dangerfield said.
“We maintained pressure around the ball, which is obviously critical, and we were able to score up forward. It doesn’t matter how many onepercenters and how many tackles and smothers, you’ve got to be able to put scoreboard pressure on the opposition and it was pleasing for us tonight.
“We were really confident that if we executed, things were going to be OK. Everything’s looked at in isolation with our last performance, which was poor, obviously.
“The resilience and the ability for this group to respond all season has been enormous and we saw that tonight.
“The challenge now is to continue that momentum and what better challenge than Adelaide this week.”
Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins said yesterday in an interview on Fox Footy he would “100 per cent” love to beat his former teammate Dangerfield.
“If he marches into town with his Geelong teammates, there’d be nothing better than beating him and reminding him that perhaps he should have stuck around with us and he could be a Brownlow Med- allist and a premiership player,” Jenkins said.
Dangerfield dismissed suggestions playing against his old side added a bit extra to the match, saying the Cats were clear in their focus.
“I don’t know if it’s extra spice,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who our opponent is, we’re going to win. We’ve got two games to go.”
Adelaide and Geelong have met twice this season, each recording one win. SHATTERED Sydney Swans skipper Josh Kennedy says the manner of his team’s shock exit from the finals at the hands of Geelong will make the upcoming off season a prolonged and agonising one.
After looking like its season was dead and buried at 0-6 Sydney’s amazing run of 15 wins from the next 17 matches ignited hopes of the most unlikely of premierships.
But the Cats’ 59-point demolition job put paid to those hopes in a manner nobody saw coming.
And now comes a long, long off-season to ponder what went wrong.
John Longmire said his team was “buggered’’ after effectively playing elimination finals football for the past five months.
Adding to the torment was the fact the match was the 300th game for one of its most favourite sons Jarrad McVeigh who had provided much needed support to Kennedy in his confidence shattering start as captain.
“It is [disappointing to lose on McVeigh’s milestone match],’’ Kennedy said. “But at the same time it’s painful because it’s season over and it will be a long six months waiting for next year.
“We did a lot of work to put ourselves in that position and didn’t show up, it’s very disappointing. Geelong’s pressure was good and off the back of the week they’ve had. It was pretty clear to see we didn’t have enough contributors and they were just better than us.”
Kennedy’s 20-disposal performance was well down on his usual output and Luke Parker’s 13 was a season low, but they had little or no support from others.
Callum Sinclair followed last week’s best ever performance with his worst, picking up just two possessions. Gary Rohan had another MCG finals shocker with just seven touches for the night.