Geelong are a contender, not a pretender

Nicholas Richardson Roar Guru

By Nicholas Richardson, Nicholas Richardson is a Roar Guru

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    In Round 15, Etihad Stadium played host to what many saw as the end of Geelong’s season. On the back of one kick, Geelong was relegated from top-four fancies to a team not worthy of their place in the eight.

    However, such hysteria, is merely that, hysteria. Had Harry Taylor been more accurate, the Cats would be entrenched inside the eight and fighting for a home qualifying final.

    Geelong’s chances of making the top-eight are still high. Out of the seven games remaining, four are at GMHBA Stadium, two at the MCG and the outlier is their clash against Adelaide on Thursday night.

    Geelong also has the third highest percentage, behind only Melbourne and Richmond.

    It is undoubted that Geelong’s home-and-away form has been less consistent than many inside and outside the club would’ve hoped. However, Geelong has demonstrated they have the ingredients required for success on our games grandest stage.

    The notion that premierships are won on defence is synonymous with our game. To quote Malcolm Blight; “Forwards win Coleman Medals. Midfielders win Brownlow Medals. But do not underestimate the importance of defenders in winning premiership medals.”

    Such a notion is not merely rhetoric.

    Since 2008, only three grand final sides have finished outside the top-three in points conceded that year.

    The last two years have supported as such.

    In 2017, we remember the free-flowing, dominant grand final performance the Tigers produced against the Crows. However, the Tigers campaign was one built on defence.

    Richmond was the second lowest scoring side from the top nine teams.

    In Richmond’s three finals, they restricted their opponents to just an average 55 points. Notably, they kept Geelong to 40 points (season average of 97) and Adelaide 60 (season average of 110).

    2016 witnessed a similar trend. The Bulldogs were only the 12th highest scoring team during the home and away season, but the third stingiest. Finals saw the Bulldogs contain their opponents to an average of just 71.5 points.

    When it comes to defence in 2018, Geelong is the AFL’s benchmark. Astonishingly only conceding 69 points on average, the lowest in the AFL.

    Mark Blicavs and Tom Stewart have replaced the ageing superstars of recent seasons.

    In 2018, the Cats have held Sydney (59 points), North Melbourne (59 points), Collingwood (45 points) and Port Adelaide (50 points) to well below their season average. They also held Richmond to their lowest score at the MCG this season.

    The Cats will hope to welcome back veteran defender Lachie Henderson as he recovers from an ongoing knee injury.

    The Cats have a finals hardened spine, and their phenomenal defence puts them in a great place to contend come September.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2018 @ 9:53am
      Peter the Scribe said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      They are a hard side to get a handle on the Cats in 2018. I originally predicted them to be around 8-10 from memory and they may still end up there. They lose to the Dogs then promptly spank Sydney on their home deck. Selwood and Dangerfield sit numbers 3 and 5 in the competition for frees received so they appear to rely on this to clear stoppages. They are an ugly side to watch, one of the worst for clog footy. Rule changes will come in October with no surprise to see Dangerfield endorsing the anti clog rules as the Cats clog footy has stifled his game and taken him back to the pack. 2018 might be their last shot at a flag in the clog footy era before anti clog rule changes advantage sides like WCE in 2019.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 2:44pm
        db said | July 12th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

        “Selwood and Dangerfield sit numbers 3 and 5 in the competition for frees received so they appear to rely on this to clear stoppages.” This is one of the stupidest things I’ve read. They have about 2 fewer free kicks per a game than Collingwood. So obviously not relying up on it as much as other teams

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2018 @ 4:09pm
          Peter the Scribe said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          Selwood 43, Dangerfield 37, Pendlebury 20, Adams 18. The others aren’t even on the list. Theres over 40 easy clearances Danger and Selwood have had over those two Pies mids, pretty significant I would say.

          • July 12th 2018 @ 5:37pm
            truetigerfan said | July 12th 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

            Seriously, Peter? Pendles has spent less and less time in the middle as the season’s worn on and Adams . . . how many games has he played this year? Very unfair comparison. By the way, the proposed rule changes may actually favor a side like Richmond, think about it. Speed kills!

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 7:53am
              Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:53am | ! Report

              Pies are fast too now truetiger and rumour is they are after Shai Bolton in the off season. Pendles would have played 95% time mid by the way and Adams has played 12 games. I only used those two names because our other mids dont even feature on the free kicks for table…meantime Selwood and Danger keep racking them up.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 10:18am
          Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          Right on cue DB Selwood performs the biggest dive since Greg Louganis and Alex Rance last night. There is a reason he is number three in the comp for frees received and it’s not just his undoubtable courage. He milks frees and has taught Dangerfield too as well.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 4:43pm
      Tom said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

      Peter you are one Collingwood Bozo. Relying on free kicks and clog footy. Preposterous take on the cats!

    • July 12th 2018 @ 6:06pm
      fractal pixie said | July 12th 2018 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

      You better believe that we are a contender.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 10:51pm
      Doctor Rotcod said | July 12th 2018 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

      It must be painful to concede a win to also-rans like the Crows, giving up 112 pts in the process

    • July 13th 2018 @ 12:07pm
      Perry Bridge said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

      It’s interesting to contrast Geelong after they got over North and were sitting 4th with 130+% in the bank and with aspirations to a top 2 finish.

      Since then, 1 from 4. Gone from 8-4 to 9-7 and after this weekend if either of North or the Giants win then Geelong will be looking on from outside the 8.

      The next 4 for Geelong are against Melb (a classic contest since 1860!! – most important in a few years for the 2 clubs) – Brissie in Geelong and then MCG v Rich and Hawthorn. Geelong could easily go 1 or 2 from 4. If they only halve these and find themselves at 11-9 with Freo and Suns at Geelong in last 2 rounds – they might already be out of touch.

      Massive game North v Sydney too – – if the Swans win – they stay in touch for top 4 (one of Coll and WCE will lose, unless a draw). If North win – they could step past the Swans on percentage.

      • Roar Guru

        July 13th 2018 @ 12:12pm
        Nicholas Richardson said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        13 wins will be enough to get into the finals this year, especially given Geelong’s good percentage. The Crows showed just how good they could be last night. It’s a shame they have struggled with injuries and other club problems.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 3:44pm
          Peter the Scribe said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

          Bur surely not enough to be a contender Nicholas? With Richmond in full flight can anyone from 5-8 really contend?

    • July 13th 2018 @ 4:11pm
      Marine Boy said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

      As for Richmond – Let’s not forget 2008…..and also what Bulldogs did in 2016.

      This free kick discussion frustrates me – for the record has anyone actually looked at the TEAM free kicks differential? Collingwood currently +75, the highest. Geelong somewhere in the middle of the pack.

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