Cats players celebrate after their win over the Swans.
Cats players celebrate after their win over the Swans. JULIAN SMITH

Cats v Swans player ratings

IT was Lance Franklin's worst game for the year - but he had plenty of teammates in the same camp.

Fifteen, in fact.

But while several Swans flopped, many of Geelong's second-tier players stepped up on the big stage, giving them a huge confidence-booster ahead of a preliminary final against Adelaide.

This is how we rated every player out of 10 for their respective performances on Friday night.


1. Rhys Stanley - 3

Rushed in to play his first AFL game since Round 21 as the late inclusion for an ill Tom Lonergan. Huge contested mark in the second term and an important goal. But will probably be the first player kicked out of the side for next week's prelim.

2. Zach Tuohy - 7

Started loose and made the most of it. As he has done all season, gave the Cats ample drive from defence

3. Brandan Parfitt - 6

Very busy and, impressively, won most of his ball in a contested situation. Had a direct hand in a couple of goals too.

4. Andrew Mackie - 6

Typical Mackie game, winning most of the footy off half-back and driving the ball down the wings.

7. Harry Taylor - 9

Mr Fix It. Forced to move back due to Lonergan's late withdrawal - and was sent straight to Lance Franklin. No biggy. Starred, keeping Buddy super quiet while showing ample composure with the footy.

8. Jake Kolodjashnij - 5

Lively early playing through the midfield and pumped the ball inside forward 50, but dropped off as the game went on.

9. Zac Smith - 7

Best ruckman on the ground. Never stopped working, beating Sam Naismith both at stoppages then around the ground. Also pushed forward for a cheeky goal.

10. Daniel Menzel - 6

Back in the side and proved why he's so important. Huge set-shot goal at the start of the third term then one at the end of the same quarter. Must keep his place.

11. Darcy Lang - 6

Why wasn't he in last week? Huge first half, where he acted as the linkman for many Cats forward forays. Used the ball efficiently as he won most of his ball on the outside.

14. Joel Selwood - 4

If the Cats would beat the Swans, you'd say the skipper would've had a monster game. Far from. Didn't win a lot of the ball - and when he did, didn't use the ball well.

16. Scott Selwood - 5

With Dangerfield forward, he was the Cats' No. 1 clearance player early. A tackling machine, as per usual, but almost all of his touches were handballs.


Mitch Duncan of the Cats is shadowed by Luke Parker of the Swans.
Mitch Duncan of the Cats is shadowed by Luke Parker of the Swans. JULIAN SMITH

22. Mitch Duncan - 9

All class, as he has been all season. A couple of huge first-half goals, consistently racked up the ball all night and used hit effectively. Still underrated slightly, you reckon.

24. Jed Bews - 7

Rarely plays a bad game. Stood up on the finals stage and was composed deep in defence.

25. Lachie Henderson - 9

Sensational night. Not only blanketed Callum Sinclair, racked up more intercepts than anyone else on the ground. A great recruit.

26. Tom Hawkins - 3

Another star Cat that had a bad game on a brilliant night for the club. Kicked just one goal and well beaten by Heath Grundy.

27. Sam Menegola - 8

Quickly becoming a gun of the competition. Top start, racking up eight disposals in the first term and pushing forward to take a strong mark and convert a set-shot goal.

32. Steven Motlop - 8

Twelve months is a long time in footy. His effort against the Swans last year had many calling for him to be traded. Stark on contrast on Friday night. Two handballs in the first term, but lifted in the second term with 11 crucial disposals then a telling third-quarter goal. Among the leading ball-winners on the ground, but the best bit: Six tackles.

34. James Parsons - 1

The outlier in a brilliant night for the Cats. No touches and two clangers in the first term, didn't get any better after that. Will struggle to hold his spot in the side.

35. Patrick Dangerfield - 9

Hey Plugger, was that you out there? A bit of surprise when he started deep forward on Dane Rampe. Took a strong contested mark then kicked Geelong's first two goals and had four by half-time. Ultimately, he was the difference between the two sides.

39. Zach Guthrie - 4

Played his role, but wasn't outstanding.

44. Tom Stewart - 6

Ripping game before forced to the bench with a hamstring injury. Kept Sam Reid very quiet, but was also impressive intercepting and on the rebound. Inspirational solo effort during the second term was the highlight of his night. But in doubt for next week

46. Mark Blicavs - 8

Outstanding both offensively and defensively. Kept Josh Kennedy - one of the best finals players of the modern era - very quiet, but also had a big night on the stats sheet: One goal, 19 disposals, 14 tackles and 10 contested possessions. Worked harder than anyone else on the field.


Jarrad McVeigh of the Swans is carried from the ground by Kieren Jack (left) and Josh Kennedy after playing his 300th game during the semi-final against Geelong.
Jarrad McVeigh of the Swans is carried from the ground by Kieren Jack (left) and Josh Kennedy after playing his 300th game during the semi-final against Geelong. JULIAN SMITH


3. Jarrad McVeigh - 6

The 300-gamer was one of his side's best on a disappointing night. Tried to lift his side with a big goal in the second term, but didn't have many helpers.

4. Dan Hannebery - 7

The only star on-baller that rocked up on Friday night. Won lots of the ball in and under, while he also won a few intercept possessions.

5. Isaac Heeney - 4

When the game was up for grabs in the second term, he only had two disposals. Yes he had a decent night overall, but the Swans needed him when the heat was on.

7. Harry Cunningham - 3

Held his spot in the best 22 ahead of Lewis Melican. Applied some good forward pressure, but little impact elsewhere.

10. Zak Jones - 4

The tough on-baller struggled to win any contested ball, while his defensive pressure was low too. Had very little of the ball forward of centre.

12. Josh Kennedy - 3

Usually his finals pass mark is a 7. Manned up by Mark Blicavs and was forced to work hard for all his disposals. Just three touches in the second term when the Cats were on top.

14. Callum Mills - 4

Kicked a goal in the third term that gave his side a little hope. But little impact when the game was up for grabs.

15. Kieren Jack - 7

Strong performance in a losing cause. Prominent early with 10 first-quarter disposals and kicked a clever soccer goal too. Didn't stop trying all night.

16. Gary Rohan - 1

Six disposals, six turnovers. A dirty, dirty night. On a positive note, he gained 101m from his one disposal in the first half. That was just for the stats nerd.

18. Callum Sinclair - 1

Oh, he was playing, was he?

20. Sam Reid - 2

Manned up by Tom Stewart. Kicked the first goal of the game, but next to no influence on the contested after that.

22. Dean Towers - 4

Fair fall from grace. Kicked three goals last week but failed to hit the scoreboard this week. Was among his side's leading tacklers for the night though.

23. Lance Franklin - 2

Might've been smiling when he heard Tom Lonergan was out. Harry Taylor quickly turned that smile the other way, though. Had just the one handball in the first term then a behind in the second. A rare night off in front of the sticks too, kicking inaccurately in front of goal.

24. Dane Rampe - 2

Not too often this star Swan is given a bath - but it took Patrick Dangerfield to do it, having four goals kicked on him in the first term.

26. Luke Parker - 3

Had a shocker. Just seven disposals by half-time and didn't get much better in the second.

28. Nic Newman - 5

Far from his side's worst. Covered plenty of ground and won the ball at both ends of the ground.

29. George Hewett - 5

Was Sydney's best pressure player throughout the night and won most of disposals in the forward half. Won his spot.

35. Sam Naismith - 4

Humbled by Zac Smith. Was good defensively though, finishing with five tackles.

39. Heath Grundy - 6

Went straight to Tom Hawkins and won the battle.

40. Nick Smith - 4

Didn't really have a dedicated opponent for the night. Did win most of his disposals from intercepts.

41. Tom Papley - 3

Kicked a goal, but no tackles inside the forward 50.

44. Jake Lloyd - 6

Excellent across half-back. Won the ball off turnover and gained plenty of territory for his side.

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