Joel Selwood of the Cats with the ball.
Joel Selwood of the Cats with the ball. JULIAN SMITH

Cats superstars run riot over Crows

IT is has become almost impossible to find enough superlatives for Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield both as a duo and individually.

On Friday night, together, they absolutely annihilated Adelaide's midfield in their 13.18.96 to 10.14.74 triumph. But they also had a helper in Scott Selwood.

Not even Rory Sloane or the Crouch brothers could stand up to their intensity, class and unyielding ball-winning abilities.

Even when Joel went down bleeding heavily from the side of his head, he got patched up and ran straight back on the field.

"I don't think there is a tougher player," West Coast and Carlton great Chris Judd said on Triple M.

"His courage is legendary. (He) puts his head in places where seemingly no other thing can happen except for him to get a sizeable knock.

Hawkins under scrutiny: Cats v Crows
Hawkins under scrutiny: Cats v Crows

"Certainly that contest in the first quarter where he did get cleaned up and opened up, that nasty gash, was brave bordering on stupid."

In the second term the captain had 12 touches at 100 per cent efficiency. He finished the game with 35 disposals, nine clearances and a goal.

Dangerfield was also at his best, amassing 31 possessions, seven tackles, seven takeaways and three goals.


Tom Hawkins of the Cats (right) is seen in action during the Round 11 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Adelaide Crows at Simonds Stadium in Geelong, Friday, June 2, 2017. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Tom Hawkins of the Cats. JULIAN SMITH

This is why the basket of compliments and superlatives is empty. They've been exhausted and re-used ample times.

It's the goals column that impressed Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown.

"What he has been doing this season is kicking those goals with three tonight," Brown said on Fox Footy.

"It puts him up over 20 for the season which is big for a midfielder. He's on track to kick 40 goals as a genuine midfielder."

Brown was also disappointed Don Pyke didn't send an Adelaide on-baller to Geelong's inspiring skipper, whereas Chris Scott had Scott Selwood run with Rory Sloane to great effect.

"No Adelaide Crows midfielder has not bothered to go anywhere near him," he said.

"A couple of times Sloane was near him. It shocks me. To me it just looks like Geelong's midfield is hard. They have the intimidation factor.

"To me the Adelaide Crows midfield has looked a little pedestrian... They are just going along for the ride. They are not putting their bodies in."

Scott Selwood has now laid 44 tackles in the last three weeks and held Sloane to 23 touches and just two marks on Friday night.

"We can't underestimate the inclusion of Scott Selwood," 1988 Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy said on Fox Footy.

"He's been there for a period of time, but gee in the last few weeks he has made a hell of a contribution. The balance of their midfield looks so much better."

But as valuable as Scott Selwood was, the story - yet again - revolved around the superior influence of 'Dangerwood.'

Like Marsh and Lillee (cricket), Ruth and Gehrig (baseball), The Bryan brothers (tennis) and Curry and Thompson (basketball), these two Cats often appear to be playing a different game to their teammates.

Another great football partnership was Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton, with the latter full of praise for the star Cat duo post-game.

"If you were to describe the great traits of both these midfielders, you would almost say 'we've got the same player twice, why do you need that?" Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton said on Fox Footy.

"They are both courageous beasts. Except Dangerfield pulls away from the stoppage at pace. That's where he kills you."

And after Friday night's match, nobody knows this better than Adelaide's beaten and bruised on-ball brigade.