Wahey! Footy, two nights in a row! We are being spoiled.
After last night’s nail-biting, breathless and error-strewn return to action at the MCG, we’re off down the highway to Kardinia Park for the resumption of the most entertaining rivalry in the modern game. Geelong v Hawthorn is underway from 7.50pm and I’ll be here to make sure you have a rough idea what’s happening down at the Cattery.
Matches between this pair tend to be close, highlighted by that astonishing period around the turn of the decade when contests of incredible skill invariably ended within a kick. Both clubs have descended somewhat from those lofty heights, but neither have plummeted far, and Chris Scott and Alastair Clarkson will consider their premiership windows open in this most unpredictable of seasons.
This is ordinarily a rivalry that draws a bumper crowd to the MCG, but with fans still locked out Geelong have lobbied successfully for the Hawks to make the journey to GHMBA Stadium for the first time since 2006. Not only that, but there is an expectation that other heavyweights will make rare visits to Victoria’s Surf Coast later in the season, in a major boost to the Cats’ flag hopes. Few teams in history have enjoyed home ground advantage like Geelong in the past decade or so (42-8 win-loss record in previous 50 matches), and their familiarity with the dimensions (the Kardinia Park oval is the third-longest but also the narrowest in the league) should give them a notable advantage.
Let me know what you think of that, as well as some other tasty morsels, like Patrick Dangerfield’s place in the game on the night of his 250th appearance, Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett pandering to #SokkahTwitter by advocating for relegation from the AFL, or how tonight could be the last time modern greats Shaun Burgoyne (37), Gary Ablett (36) and Harry Taylor (34 today!) all compete for the same Sherrin.