Opinion How can this Geelong side be stopped?

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Shooter#17

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May 9, 2015
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Easily, its just 2019 all over again. I'll be surprised if the cats make the GF tbh. Real danger is Sydney which just depends how their kids hold up in September.
 

nineteen eighty

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Sep 18, 2003
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Geelong are clearly the favourites this year - deservedly. Aggressive ball movement and locking the ball in their forward 50 with a fantastic setup and structure. Cameron in better form and Stengle really adding to the potency of this.

I think the only team that can beat Geelong is themselves. My only concern is the performance of several players when the heat is really on. Guys like Rohan, Miers, Stanley, Kolo have erratic and poor finals histories (and that’s being kind), and at the risk of inflaming Cats fans, Danger, Menegola, Bews, and Zuthrie more often than not just don’t have great games either. Stengle untested and Jeremy Cameron has had some real stinkers in big finals too. Bliclavs can look ordinary as well under pressure with his decision making, but his role is totally different this year in its various guises - he’s been unbelievable - and is playing a role ready made for finals.

Cleary the Cats are the best team this year, but it will be fascinating to see if the new system (which is great and very watchable) can cover potential performance issues when we all know the pressure will be ratcheted up immensely. I actually suspect the system will hold up really well but it won’t be dull viewing.

They have a very good forward line and defense but the jury is still out for mine re: their mids. Big difference between playing very well at home on a strongly favouring home team ground vs playing on the wide expanses of the MCG in a hot final. And having Rohan in the team is essentially a liability in finals (going off previous finals). Dangerfield is not far behind him.

So the questions for mine are:

Can their mids step up in finals away from home?
Can their liabilities such as Rohan step up and play their role?
 

nineteen eighty

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 18, 2003
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Easily, its just 2019 all over again. I'll be surprised if the cats make the GF tbh. Real danger is Sydney which just depends how their kids hold up in September.

And have a huge wildcard in Buddy.

Can see Buddy stepping up in big games. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part but I would love to see him dominate in the way Martin has for the Tiges in finals. What a spectacle it would be!
 

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Jul 25, 2022
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Richmond
Melbourne will win the flag, they're the only team that we never looked like beating this season, in fact Melbourne is the only team that beat us this season because they were clearly better, and not because it was Richmond killing Richmond. I see Melbourne getting there s**t together in a big way come finals. So if Geelong make the GF, the answer to this question is, Melbourne.
 

iameviljez

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Oct 20, 2004
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Of course - got confused as to whether the bizarre Sydney loss at the MCG was an SF or PF.

2019 prelim was so weird. I thought that even though Dusty was pretty quiet in the first half he still somehow managed to turn it with that effort on the wing where he fell over and then gathered the ball and passed to someone who hit a target I50.
It was a strange game. Hawkins was suspended, we played Blicavs on a wing and Kolodjashnij on Lynch, who kicks five goals in a three goal win.
 

iameviljez

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And have a huge wildcard in Buddy.
Can see Buddy stepping up in big games. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part but I would love to see him dominate in the way Martin has for the Tiges in finals. What a spectacle it would be!
I think it’s wishful thinking. He has been pretty quiet in the second half of this year.
 

Gysberts2Bate

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Jun 12, 2013
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Melbourne will win the flag, they're the only team that we never looked like beating this season, in fact Melbourne is the only team that beat us this season because they were clearly better, and not because it was Richmond killing Richmond. I see Melbourne getting there s**t together in a big way come finals. So if Geelong make the GF, the answer to this question is, Melbourne.
But Geelong is the only team that’s bet us this year because they’ve genuinely outplayed us (even ignoring home ground advantage) :$

But yeah it’s pretty obvious we’ve been taking the piss. I was expecting us to have a Geelong 2008 like follow up year, but I don’t think that was ever on the cards for the club internally.
 

iameviljez

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But Geelong is the only team that’s bet us this year because they’ve genuinely outplayed us (even ignoring home ground advantage) :$

But yeah it’s pretty obvious we’ve been taking the piss. I was expecting us to have a Geelong 2008 like follow up year, but I don’t think that was ever on the cards for the club internally.
So was I… unsure exactly what has changed.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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This is a long post so, TL;DR: there are numerous things that could stop us winning the flag but 5-6 factors that give us a better shot at it





Firstly there’s lots of things that could stop us this year. There are, by my count, 5 sides still in contention who on a given day could blow us or anyone else out of the water: each of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have 30-40 minutes of irresistible and unstoppable footy in them. That can be enough to win a game, as Melbourne showed in the grand final. Ironically the other two sides that have that in them aren’t even in the 8 - Richmond and the Dogs - but they have that in them two.

Carlton MAY have that too but it’s not as accessible as it is for the others IMO.

But Carlton have a forward line that can stretch our backline. So they don’t need to be unstoppable for 40 minutes, they just need their very good midfield to be good often enough to give their very good forwards 9-10 opportunities.

Fremantle don’t have that gear in them that can blow us off the park. They do however have a win over us at KP this year through tough defence, methodical at times and haphazard at others ball movement, and a hardened 22 who all stand up and play their role.

Collingwood also don’t have that spurt of footy that can destroy a top opponent in an instant. But they have good leadership, they have belief, they have trust that they can win, they have a couple of x-factor players, and they have a 7-goal lead over us in one match this year before WE produced one of those 30 minute stretches of brilliance.

St Kilda are a wildcard and their form line recently is obviously average but they too have a win against us through exploiting our improving but still vulnerable ruck and If Max King can find his range and have a day out they too could stop us.


Why can we stop the other sides?

Well we have experience, obviously. Yes you could argue that at some point regular finals defeats becomes a millstone rather than having the advantage of maturity and experience but for all the hyperbole about ‘Dangerfield going missing in finals’ etc etc I look through his entire career and I can only see two matches as a permanent midfielder where he’s had less than 20 touches and numerically at least his finals record is almost identical to his home and away record. Selwood in our failures has still performed. Hawkins is probably more of the barometer but he’s played many good ones. Wins or losses, it’s a team that at its core has played a lot of big matches together.

We have much more speed. That doesn’t need to be elaborated upon. We are visibly faster.

We are bigger and stronger. Players like Guthrie and Blicavs and Parfitt look menacing around the ball, Atkins isn’t what I’d call an Adonis but he’s gotten stronger and Dangerfield looks at full fitness. Cameron is throwing his body around and hurting people. We look a bit more like the team that could bully the opposition than the one that could be bullied. I thought Saturday was a good example of that. The dogs were very good early, there was no panic, no attempt to finesse our way back. We flicked a switch and bashed them for a quarter and a half. It’s a nice trick to have.

We have no reliance on any 1-2 players. Hawkins is impacting games without kicking goals. So is Cameron. Close, Stengle, Guthrie, Duncan are hitting the scoreboard. Stanley clunks the odd mark down there when he’s playing.

We have actual options in the ruck. Ceglar looked like his timing was a bit out on Saturday with his disposal but I actually thought did a really good job. At very worst he was competitive and serviceable. Stanley had a great month of footy up to his injury. Blicavs is a part timer but he’s strong and has enough nous now to occasionally not just break even but contribute.


More than anything why I think we CAN win it is this:

In all the years since 2013, I feel like we are the hunted. As as been said, every flag team seems to go through Geelong. It’s an indictment both on how ever present we’ve been, and how slightly off the best teams we’ve been. We’ve undoubtedly played some putrid finals but the simple fact remains that in MOST of them, we quite clearly just haven’t been as good as the opposition - we have been bashed for our prelim effort last year and rightly so- but the same opponent did the same thing to the grand finalists in half as much time a week later. They were better, they had ‘come and gotten us.’

Watching us this year WE look like the hunters. It looks like WE are the side that’s said ‘we need to hit these other sides with everything’ rather than ‘we are trusting our plan and our personnel to weather the opposition storm and be good enough.’ It’s not manifesting itself in frantic, manic opening quarters where we butcher other sides but we are feeling the opposition out, establishing ourselves and then piling the pressure on and that’s what good sides do.
 

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Kobe Gryant

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Jul 31, 2021
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Certain, very specific recruits - ie those from Western Victoria. Looking at the bigger fish we managed to land over the years - Henderson, Dangerfield, Cameron and a few other steak knives - they are almost all from the region. The only recruits I can think of who were sought-after and not from the area were Josh Caddy, and Ottens.

But certainly almost every time we’ve been after players with a competing Melbourne club - Frawley, Lynch, Shiel etc - we’ve lost.

We have pursued a very deliberate strategy to make the most of our advantages and cop our disadvantage on the chin.

It's hard to judge how much of a destination club we are tbh. We've never really seen it put to the test in the salary cap era because we've always been a solid side or a premiership threat.

I'm sure the local lifestyle is an attraction but I wonder if we were 13th every year instead of top 4 would it have the same effect.

Not complaining by any means because it's worked so far, but I'd be curious if we 'fell of a cliff' as been predicted for over a decade now would we have gotten the recruits we have.
 

PhatBoy

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May 5, 2016
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For every player that wants the quieter surf coast setting there’d be another more drawn to the city or the lure of the blockbuster games.

Probably evens itself out overall
 

PJays

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Nov 2, 2020
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How can this Geelong side be stopped?

Simple, get them onto the MCG in September.

I'm only half joking. If you look through the records, you'll see Geelong was in the following ladder positions with 4 rounds to play

2021 - 2nd on ladder and 2nd best percentage in the comp.

2020 - 3rd. 1 win behind 1st and 2nd, but the best percentage, 14% clear of 2nd best percentage

2019 - 1st. 1 win clear on top. Best percentage, 13% better than 2nd best

2018 - 8th

2017 - 2nd, with 3rd best percentage

2016 - 2nd, with the best percentage

I'll stop at 2016 since that's when Dangerfield arrived. There would be just a handful of players left over from 2015 and prior.

There's definitely a pattern.

For whatever reason, this Geelong team has consistently failed in the finals relative to their Home and Away performances. And relative to their situation with 4 rounds remaining.

We are dealing with small sample sizes. They were Richmond's bunny for a while, and weren't the only ones. Reportedly they had gastro go through the team the night before the 2021 prelim.

But regardless, it's hard to go past this history of failure. Compared to Melbourne, who rose a gear in finals last season. That's why Melbourne's favourite for mine. Even though Geelong's been clearly the most impressive team of the Home and Away season.

Edit: I just remembered there's 3 rounds left, not 4. Forgive the brain fade. Wouldn't change the point.
 
Last edited:

allrighty

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Going to be some very nervous supporters and most importantly, players come September. Expect Geelong to win one of their finals and then choke late September. Will be interesting to see if Dangerfield can get more than 10 effective disposals in '22.

In all seriousness, credit where credit is due. They have definitely improved and whilst I still think their midfield can be exploited, it's improved throughout this season and they may well continue to improve. I'm still expecting them to fall over but that's not based on what they've shown this year.
Do you know what humility is?
 

SuperVolley11

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Jun 2, 2011
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How can this Geelong side be stopped?

Simple, get them onto the MCG in September.

I'm only half joking. If you look through the records, you'll see Geelong was in the following ladder positions with 4 rounds to play

2021 - 2nd on ladder and 2nd best percentage in the comp.

2020 - 3rd. 1 win behind 1st and 2nd, but the best percentage, 14% clear of 2nd best percentage

2019 - 1st. 1 win clear on top. Best percentage, 13% better than 2nd best

2018 - 8th

2017 - 2nd, with 3rd best percentage

2016 - 2nd, with the best percentage

I'll stop at 2016 since that's when Dangerfield arrived. There would be just a handful of players left over from 2015 and prior.

There's definitely a pattern.

For whatever reason, this Geelong team has consistently failed in the finals relative to their Home and Away performances. And relative to their situation with 4 rounds remaining.

We are dealing with small sample sizes. They were Richmond's bunny for a while, and weren't the only ones. Reportedly they had gastro go through the team the night before the 2021 prelim.

But regardless, it's hard to go past this history of failure. Compared to Melbourne, who rose a gear in finals last season. That's why Melbourne's favourite for mine. Even though Geelong's been clearly the most impressive team of the Home and Away season.

Edit: I just remembered there's 3 rounds left, not 4. Forgive the brain fade. Wouldn't change the point.
You talk about mcg finals then put in stats from 2020 and 2021?
 

AlwaysHawks15

Premiership Player
Nov 12, 2014
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This is a long post so, TL;DR: there are numerous things that could stop us winning the flag but 5-6 factors that give us a better shot at it





Firstly there’s lots of things that could stop us this year. There are, by my count, 5 sides still in contention who on a given day could blow us or anyone else out of the water: each of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have 30-40 minutes of irresistible and unstoppable footy in them. That can be enough to win a game, as Melbourne showed in the grand final. Ironically the other two sides that have that in them aren’t even in the 8 - Richmond and the Dogs - but they have that in them two.

Carlton MAY have that too but it’s not as accessible as it is for the others IMO.

But Carlton have a forward line that can stretch our backline. So they don’t need to be unstoppable for 40 minutes, they just need their very good midfield to be good often enough to give their very good forwards 9-10 opportunities.

Fremantle don’t have that gear in them that can blow us off the park. They do however have a win over us at KP this year through tough defence, methodical at times and haphazard at others ball movement, and a hardened 22 who all stand up and play their role.

Collingwood also don’t have that spurt of footy that can destroy a top opponent in an instant. But they have good leadership, they have belief, they have trust that they can win, they have a couple of x-factor players, and they have a 7-goal lead over us in one match this year before WE produced one of those 30 minute stretches of brilliance.

St Kilda are a wildcard and their form line recently is obviously average but they too have a win against us through exploiting our improving but still vulnerable ruck and If Max King can find his range and have a day out they too could stop us.


Why can we stop the other sides?

Well we have experience, obviously. Yes you could argue that at some point regular finals defeats becomes a millstone rather than having the advantage of maturity and experience but for all the hyperbole about ‘Dangerfield going missing in finals’ etc etc I look through his entire career and I can only see two matches as a permanent midfielder where he’s had less than 20 touches and numerically at least his finals record is almost identical to his home and away record. Selwood in our failures has still performed. Hawkins is probably more of the barometer but he’s played many good ones. Wins or losses, it’s a team that at its core has played a lot of big matches together.

We have much more speed. That doesn’t need to be elaborated upon. We are visibly faster.

We are bigger and stronger. Players like Guthrie and Blicavs and Parfitt look menacing around the ball, Atkins isn’t what I’d call an Adonis but he’s gotten stronger and Dangerfield looks at full fitness. Cameron is throwing his body around and hurting people. We look a bit more like the team that could bully the opposition than the one that could be bullied. I thought Saturday was a good example of that. The dogs were very good early, there was no panic, no attempt to finesse our way back. We flicked a switch and bashed them for a quarter and a half. It’s a nice trick to have.

We have no reliance on any 1-2 players. Hawkins is impacting games without kicking goals. So is Cameron. Close, Stengle, Guthrie, Duncan are hitting the scoreboard. Stanley clunks the odd mark down there when he’s playing.

We have actual options in the ruck. Ceglar looked like his timing was a bit out on Saturday with his disposal but I actually thought did a really good job. At very worst he was competitive and serviceable. Stanley had a great month of footy up to his injury. Blicavs is a part timer but he’s strong and has enough nous now to occasionally not just break even but contribute.


More than anything why I think we CAN win it is this:

In all the years since 2013, I feel like we are the hunted. As as been said, every flag team seems to go through Geelong. It’s an indictment both on how ever present we’ve been, and how slightly off the best teams we’ve been. We’ve undoubtedly played some putrid finals but the simple fact remains that in MOST of them, we quite clearly just haven’t been as good as the opposition - we have been bashed for our prelim effort last year and rightly so- but the same opponent did the same thing to the grand finalists in half as much time a week later. They were better, they had ‘come and gotten us.’

Watching us this year WE look like the hunters. It looks like WE are the side that’s said ‘we need to hit these other sides with everything’ rather than ‘we are trusting our plan and our personnel to weather the opposition storm and be good enough.’ It’s not manifesting itself in frantic, manic opening quarters where we butcher other sides but we are feeling the opposition out, establishing ourselves and then piling the pressure on and that’s what good sides do.
Geelong are the hunted now. You guys have crept up on the competition and the wider footy community until recently. It's changed now. Teams are now looking at ways to break you down. Dogs came out with fast ball movement and it worked for a qtr but couldn't sustain it. I can see the other contenders already going to work on how to exploit the weaknesses. Including Goodwin and Melbourne. They would be smart treating themselves as the hunter even though they are the reigning premiers. Different year different teams.
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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Geelong are the hunted now. You guys have crept up on the competition and the wider footy community until recently. It's changed now. Teams are now looking at ways to break you down. Dogs came out with fast ball movement and it worked for a qtr but couldn't sustain it. I can see the other contenders already going to work on how to exploit the weaknesses. Including Goodwin and Melbourne. They would be smart treating themselves as the hunter even though they are the reigning premiers. Different year different teams.

Any side worth their salt with a coaching team worth anything would be trying to break us down but that’s every team every year.
It’s not like in past years they’d see us drawn against them in a final and go ‘oh it’s just Geelong we will take the week off.’ They’re always going to look at us like a team they have to analyse and find a way to break down.

What I’m talking about is a method of playing though. Not tactical necessarily but attitude. For so long we have looked like a side that is going to ‘trust the game plan, trust the process.’ It was an approach that was almost built on hope and that’s how our 22 guys in those finals defeats played.

We aren’t playing like that at the moment. Yeah we are playing with trust but it’s trust in the bloke next to you not to possess the ball and stick to the process, but to do his job: trust one of the blokes in the centre square to smash any opponent who gets the ball. Trust when you move the ball forward at speed that one of Hawkins or Cameron will be one-out. Trust that if we turn it over everyone will turn and chase.

Obviously we have always been the most experienced side but we looked also the most timid in many ways. I don’t see that at the moment.

Even on Saturday when we went 4 goals down, all the mids and Blicavs gathered around Selwood and he didn’t hammer them but he just laid down what looked like a ‘right. Let’s stick our tackles and hit these blokes HARD’ sort of message and that’s what we did. In some of those finals - Sydney and Adelaide prelims come to mind, where we were 7 goals down before we knew it, there were little chats on the field and messages going out bit it looked like ‘it will turn just be patient’ rather than us taking the initiative to make it happen
 

SuperVolley11

Club Legend
Jun 2, 2011
1,037
730
AFL Club
Geelong
Geelong are the hunted now. You guys have crept up on the competition and the wider footy community until recently. It's changed now. Teams are now looking at ways to break you down. Dogs came out with fast ball movement and it worked for a qtr but couldn't sustain it. I can see the other contenders already going to work on how to exploit the weaknesses. Including Goodwin and Melbourne. They would be smart treating themselves as the hunter even though they are the reigning premiers. Different year different teams.
Is it too late in a season and are Melbourne too in trenched in a style to base a whole new game plan with only 5-6 weeks before playing Geelong in a cut throat final? I would say yes. It’s very rare we see huge system change from the very top sides. Also, is this “hunted” and “hunter” thing more for the fans and media? Do we really think Goodwin will go in on the Monday before playing Geelong and say, these guys are the bench mark. We can’t play our game. We need to just counter what they do now. I doubt it. They back in their game that has the best side over the last 18 months.
 

AlwaysHawks15

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Nov 12, 2014
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Is it too late in a season and are Melbourne too in trenched in a style to base a whole new game plan with only 5-6 weeks before playing Geelong in a cut throat final? I would say yes. It’s very rare we see huge system change from the very top sides. Also, is this “hunted” and “hunter” thing more for the fans and media? Do we really think Goodwin will go in on the Monday before playing Geelong and say, these guys are the bench mark. We can’t play our game. We need to just counter what they do now. I doubt it. They back in their game that has the best side over the last 18 months.
That's not what I'm saying. You back your system in but you make subtle changes to certain things which can beat an opponent. We did it during our glory years quite often. Our precision kicking was our 1 wood but we won lots of big matches throwing a few different things at the opposition.
 

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