Sport

Dangerfield makes grand stand as Cats down premiers

Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats gets a kick away under pressure.
Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats gets a kick away under pressure. JULIAN SMITH

IT WAS as if Patrick Dangerfield thought the new Simonds Stadium grandstand was named after him and wanted to unveil the masterpiece with his own masterpiece performance.

On a night when Geelong celebrated the opening of its new (Charles) Brownlow grandstand with a 104-81 win over the Western Bulldogs, the reigning Brownlow Medallist made one heck of a grand stand - both with ball and without ball.

Up until Friday night's clash, Dangerfield had had an excellent season, but arguably hadn't produced an absolute three-vote certainty game yet.

But after four goals from 36 disposals, 20 contested possessions, 12 tackles - yes 12 - 10 clearances, six inside 50s and, three votes are seemingly in the bag for Dangerfield.

In fact, it could be nine votes in three games against the Bulldogs for Dangerfield ever since joining the Cats, as Dangerfield was voted best on ground in both Dogs-Cats clashes in 2016.

Dangerfield set the tone with an enormous first term - a quarter in which he simply had to make a statement.

After all, he was one of the 12 Cats last weekend that embarrassingly hadn't laid a tackle by half-time.

"(What) we need to see for things to change at Geelong is (Joel) Selwood and Dangerfield to run down, chase, tackle. Your leaders drive the attitude of a football club," dual premiership Kangaroo David King said on Fox Footy.

Within the first two minutes of the game, Dangerfield had laid two tackles.

The latter one - on Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli - led to a holding the ball free kick just outside the 50m arc - an opportunity Dangerfield converted to boot the first goal of the game and bring the patrons sitting in the Brownlow Stand to their feet.

"That's set a great standard for the rest of his teammates - hopefully he can continue," three-time premiership Cat Paul Chapman told K-Rock.

It was the start of a sensational opening stanza for the superstar Cat, who undoubtedly made a statement. By quarter-time, he had game-high disposals (13), contested possessions (7), handball receives (6), tackles (4) and inside 50s (3) to go with a couple of clearances.

 

Harry Taylor of the Cats.
Harry Taylor of the Cats. JULIAN SMITH

But if Dangerfield's first goal was a team-lifter, his second and third majors were sheer freakish brilliance. He produced a stunning running non-preferred left-foot goal from the boundary line - on the wrong side for a left-footer if you don't mind - late in the first term then kicked off the second term with a right-foot banana running away from the goal.

Insane.

Arguably the most impressive aspect about Dangerfield's game was his strength and his explosiveness out of stoppages.

His power and acceleration and ability to burst away from stoppages is a pleasure to watch live - that's unless you're a rival on-baller.

Despite the Bulldogs' third-quarter comeback, Dangerfield picked up from where he left off in the third term, racking up another eight disposals.

And while it took almost 20 minutes to have his first touch in the final term, he made every touch from then on count, exploding out of a centre square bounce that set up a Daniel Menzel goal before having a hand in several other scores.

The Cats are back at Simonds Stadium - and the Brownlow Medallist is back to his Brownlow Medal form.

Topics:  geelong cats patrick dangerfield western bulldogs

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