Port Adelaide host Geelong at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night and in this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday, we look at Geelong’s record breaking demolition of the Power in the 2007 Grand Final.
Geelong defeated Port Adelaide by a record 119 points, 24.19 (163) to 6.8 (44), in front of 97,302 fans at the MCG.
The Cats had not tasted premiership success in 44 years. Their fans were desperate for success, after the club played in four losing Grand Finals in seven years between 1989 and 1995.
After a narrow loss in the 2004 Preliminary Final to Brisbane and a heartbreaking loss to eventual premier Sydney in the 2005 Semi-Final, the Cats looked on track to have another successful season in 2006.
However, Geelong had a horrid year, finishing in 10th place, with countless questions being asked of their administration, coach and players. After a thorough and painfully honest review post 2006, Geelong came back a different side in 2007.
The Cats were by far the best team of the season, and Coach Mark Thompson had his charges playing an exciting, fast paced style with a heavy emphasis on handball and run and carry that blew opponents away. Geelong finished top of the ladder with 18 wins and four losses, in a season which included a 15 game winning streak from round six to round 21.
Come game day on September 29, 2007, Geelong was ready. Not just the players and the coaching staff, but also the long suffering fans who hold so much love for their club down in Geelong.
Port Adelaide finished second on the ladder with a 15-7 record, after tasting Premiership success just three years earlier in 2004. The Power headed into the match full of confidence after brushing aside North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final by 87 points.
The Power also beat Geelong by five points in round 21, the only side to do so since round five.
Geelong scored the first goal of the match through key forward Cameron Mooney. The Cats outscored the Power 5.7 (37) to 2.2 (14) in the first term. It was an impressive opening quarter from Geelong, but no one could imagine what was about to unfold in the remaining three quarters.
What clearly demonstrated that Geelong was switched on and ready to play, was Gary Ablett’s intercept mark and goal from a Port kick-in towards the end of the quarter. Brad Ottens also exemplified Geelong’s hunger to win, as he chased down Port’s Michael Pattigrew inside 50 to earn a free-kick for holding the ball.
Geelong then absolutely obliterated their opponents in the second quarter. The Cats kicked five goals in the opening 12 minutes of the quarter to blow the Power away. They finished the quarter 11.13 (79) to 4.3 (27) to hold a 52 point lead at the main break.
The third was more of the same with a seven goal to one quarter in favour of Geelong.
Despite the game well and truly over with Geelong holding a 90 point lead, they didn’t take the foot off the pedal in the final term. Geelong was desperate to ensure that this was a four quarter performance and piled on another six goals to one to record an astonishing 119 point win.
Geelong had 11 goal kickers, with Cameron Mooney (5), Paul Chapman (4), Steven Johnson (4) and Nathan Ablett (3) leading the way.
Steven Johnson was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for the best afield with his 23 disposals, four goals, nine marks and six inside 50s.
Geelong’s defence was at its trademark best, restricting Port to just six goals for the match. Matthew Scarlett took eight marks in defence, while Corey Enright had 29 disposals and Darren Milburn had 22.
As you would expect, Port Adelaide were comprehensively beaten in the major statistics. Geelong won the inside 50s 69-38, had 43 scoring shots to 14, had 417 disposals to 350 and recorded 126 marks to 75.
The game broke several records; with the win the largest Grand Final win in VFL/AFL history and Geelong’s 417 disposals, a Grand Final record.
The Premiership win sparked a dominant era for Geelong, who went on to win three Premierships in five years from 2007-2011. The Cats also played in five consecutive Preliminary Finals and they have currently played in eight consecutive finals campaigns.
This week’s match between the two sides promises to be a much tighter affair at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.