Photo: Nathan McNeill (NWM Sports)

By: Somer Young

Details: Genis Steel Oval, Sunday 22nd of May, 1:05pm (AEST)

Match History

 Geelong 117 Bullants 72 (Round 4, 2021)

Last time they met Geelong’s AFL-listed players got off the leash, with Josh Jenkins most notably kicking 7.5 under the Marvel Stadium lights and helping the Cats to a 45-point win. For the Ants, Tom Wilson and Jean-Luc Velissaris were reliable as usual with goals, 10 tackles and over 40 disposals between them, but overall we struggled to find consistent goalscoring avenues.

The Ant Hill

 Last week the Ants got off to a fast start against Port Melbourne, kicking the first five goals of the game and holding the lead at 3QT. Sadly, they couldn’t keep it up and fell away late by 16 points, but the fans should be feeling optimistic after the return of Liam Mackie who was best on for the Ants with 3 goals and 18 touches. With last week’s frustration and the inclusion of players like Tim Jones the boys should be fired up for a potential boilover.

The Opposition

 Geelong are coming off the bye last week and their record currently sits at 4-2. With a very tough fixture so far this year they continue to field strong teams and will think they can get the four points here. However, the teams are very different since when they last met and they definitely shouldn’t be writing us off at our home ground.

 

Matchups to watch

Jackson Barling v Luke Dahlhaus

Barling has had a very strong start to the season for the Bullants, with the tough inside midfielder averaging more than 20 disposals and 9 tackles a game. However, he will have one his toughest assignments this year against Geelong’s very seasoned midfield line-up. In this case the AFL premiership player Luke Dahlhaus, who will be knocking down the door for AFL selection after his 27-disposal performance in his last VFL game.

 

Matthew King  v Gryan Miers

King has been a general in defence for the Ants this year, averaging 22 touches as well as 7 marks in his six games this year, Meanwhile, Miers will be trying to find his own form at VFL level after kicking only the 1 goal in 6 games in the AFL. Whoever can come out on top here should have a big impact on their team’s ability to hit the scoreboard.

 

Liam Mackie v Mitch Knevitt

The boys welcomed the ‘Mack’ back into the line-up last week and they will be hoping that he can deliver another multiple goal performance again. On the other hand, Mitch Knevitt has been in and out of the Geelong AFL team but has been solid in the VFL, averaging 20 touches, 6 tackles and 5 marks a game. Whilst this will be a key midfield battle it will be whether these players can sneak forward for a couple goals that could really swing the momentum.

What’s on the line

Coming into this round 9 clash Geelong are looking to really cement a spot in the eight, whilst the Ants are looking for some reward for their effort the last couple weeks. Whilst Geelong will certainly start favourites, this won’t deter the Ants who will be looking for one of the biggest scalps of their VFL standalone history.