Slow Start Comes Back To Haunt Cats
Posted on June 26, 2012 3:57 am
Leigh Matthews summed it up best when he said, “It’s as if Geelong needs a challenge before it starts to get serious”. We have seen that time and again over the past five years, Geelong giving teams a start then steamrolling home to win. But the difference now is that the Cats are not good enough anymore to get away with it. The old experienced champions that used to lead the charge towards victory are another year older, a little slower and a lot less hungry. There’s no Ling, no Ottens and no Milburn and it’s left a huge hole in the side, perhaps more so than expected. Varcoe, Menzel and Vardy would be more than handy right now and the depth of the squad is sorely tested. Despite the slow start Geelong could have won, probably should have won. When Corey Enright gave the Cats the lead late in the last quarter a win seemed inevitable but in the end the slow start and missed opportunities conspired against Geelong grabbing the points. Tom Hawkins has to do better. All of his good work in taking marks and holding the ball in the forward line is undone when he so often misses easy shots at goal. Sadly, that glorious day in October last year which delivered Hawkins as a hero seems light years away now. He’ll come back as a hero again… but he is needed right now. Geelong also needs more from Podsiadly. The J Pod is having a horror season and it’s maybe time for a re-think on whether an extra tall on the forward line is working. Allen Christensen was good when he came on and was the spark badly needed. He is probably too much of a luxury as substitute.
No one is writing the Cats off, no one dare. History is too recent to forget just how good they can be at their best. The season is tight and even, and if ever a team can win a flag from the bottom half of the eight this might be the season it happens. And Geelong is potentially the most capable of any team to achieve it. But first Geelong has to get there, and to do that it has to start finding some form……. and quickly.
Winable games against Port and Gold Coast might kickstart the capaign then the real test begins against Collingwood, Essendon, Adelaide, Hawthorn and West Coast. Win all five of those big games and Geelong is suddenly flag favourite, win three and a top four finish is a reality, win none and the dream, and the era, is over. So the Cats have destiny very much in their own hands… at least for the time being.