K rock Football

Plenty of positives for Cats

Quinton Narkle celebrates one of his two goals in Geelong’s 55-point win over North Melbourne. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

LIVEWIRE Quinton Narkle grabbed his chance with both hands, Mark Blicavs reprised one of his previous roles as a mobile ruckman to good effect and the defence held North Melbourne to its lowest-ever score.

Ladder leader Geelong is still a way short of their absolute best just a few weeks out from the AFL finals but there was a lot for coach Chris Scott to like in Saturday night’s 55-point win.

The statistic that will inevitably stand out the most from the match at GMHBA Stadium is North Melbourne’s miserable tally of 1.8 (14) – the lowest in their 95-year VFL/AFL history.

Scott said much of the credit had to go to the Cats’ midfielders who dominated the contested ball.

“I thought the defenders behind the ball were really strong as well,” he said.

“They just made it hard for their opponents and got in the way.”

In a dour contest short on individual highlights, the 21-year-old Narkle shone brighter than anyone.

Playing his first AFL game of the year and just the the seventh of his fledgling career, Narkle kicked two brilliant goals and amassed 21 possessions.

“Narkle coming in at this time of the year is not a reflection on trying to get a bit of youth into the team,” said Scott.

“It’s a reflection of what we think our best team is right at the moment.

“He certainly delivered on that.”

Believing the weather would be worse than it turned out to be – with the forecast heavy rain only falling in the last quarter- Scott chose to omit specialist ruckman Zac Smith.

It left the versatile Blicavs – who has mostly been used in a key defensive post this year – to ruck against big Kangaroo Todd Goldstein.

He did the job admirably, even if Goldstein dominated the hitouts as expected.

“Blicavs played really well; we know that’s an option for us and we’ve known that for a long time,” said Scott.

“But I wouldn’t read into tonight as necessarily being the way forward for us in the ruck.

“It could be, but we’re very open to the other options we’ve got there.”

© AAP 2019