Opinion How can this Geelong side be stopped?

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AlwaysHawks15

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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.
If you don't think externally you won't hear Goodwin talk your mob up your not paying attention to how mind games work. Scott will dismiss it and there will be a bit of tit for tat no doubt moving forward. Make no mistake Geelong and Melbourne see themselves as 1 and 2 depending on which viewpoint.
 

SuperVolley11

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If you don't think externally you won't hear Goodwin talk your mob up your not paying attention to how mind games work. Scott will dismiss it and there will be a bit of tit for tat no doubt moving forward. Make no mistake Geelong and Melbourne see themselves as 1 and 2 depending on which viewpoint.
And it has what bearing on the match? Zero.
 

PhatBoy

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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.


That’s kind of my point. Hunters on the field are like Hawthorn were in that era. Yes status wise YOU were the hunted and teams tried to find ways to beat you and you had more than one way to handle it and it’s exactly THAT which made your side on the field, a team of hunters.

And I saw flashes of that on Saturday.

Ok we went back to our one wood to get back in the game after that early onslaught from the dogs. We possessed the ball and then when the moment came we tried to move it quick like we have been, and find Hawkins and Cameron. It created a couple of shots on goal and also one of the great botched goals of all time, and we got a few back moving the ball quickly and getting it over the back to Gary Rohan. That was our one wood, our natural way of trying to get our game going.

Then suddenly in the third quarter Dangerfield looked like he could run through a brick wall. It wasn’t about fast direct ball movement it was just brutality: we didn’t win that game using our new 2022 game style, we won it on attitude and suddenly off the back of that Stengle had spiders on him and shrugged every tackle the Dogs attempted, Hawkins started to throw his weight around, Cameron was flying into packs and knocking even his own teammates out, Atkins started to stick tackles, Selwood was throwing himself into packs and just thumping the ball forward.

That’s what it looks like to play as the hunter. Of course that is absolutely no guarantee to work, if it did everyone would just try and bash and crash their way through every game. But that attitude of imposing yourself physically and being dominant - that’s something we’ve got that’s different to recent cats teams.

It’s more reminiscent of sides from the era of Chapman and Rooke and Mooney and Johnson etc
 

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Catsace

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Since 2019? They’ve played QFs in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and lost all of them. Haven’t won a QF since 2011. Of course it’s going to improve their flags odds.

Most flags are won by teams who win their QF. There aren’t many exceptions. Brisbane 2003, Sydney/WCE in 2005/2006, Hawthorn 2015, Richmond 2020. Winning a QF gives you a huge chance of winning the flag.

We did win the 2016 QF, and Isaac felt so bad about that he joined Geelong anyway :)

Last two have been vs Port in Adelaide, the last round choke to the Dees at KP when 44 pts up was a massive momentum-shifter that seemed to invigorate and inspire the Dees to great heights.

Do think though that the footy Geelong has been playing is more likely to stack up in a Final, but yes there will be some butterflies in that first final from many Cats fans.

But, we also keep putting ourselves up there, and maybe this is the year it will pay off.
 

PJays

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You talk about mcg finals then put in stats from 2020 and 2021?
Either/or/both. I was just making the overall point they've struggled in finals

Although some of The worst examples of them struggling in finals are definitely on the MCG, say, 2016 the first year with Danger when Sydney beat them comfortably in the prelim

Or 2017 when they got smashed by Richmond who finished below them

Or 2019 they lost to Collingwood and Richmond, 2 teams who finished below them

Those were all years with high expectations but those expectations were dashed on the MCG
 

PhatBoy

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Either/or/both. I was just making the overall point they've struggled in finals

Although some of The worst examples of them struggling in finals are definitely on the MCG, say, 2016 the first year with Danger when Sydney beat them comfortably in the prelim

Or 2017 when they got smashed by Richmond who finished below them

Or 2019 they lost to Collingwood and Richmond, 2 teams who finished below them

Those were all years with high expectations but those expectations were dashed on the MCG


I put some weight in the notion that the occasion or pressure has impacted some of our finals (I do baulk at the plebs who talks as though just because we’ve made all those finals series we should have won an extra 6 flags) but there is no measure by which you could ever say that the ground is a major factor.

We are 37-26 there since our last flag. We have played there predominantly against host sides at the ground, predominantly against Hawthorn who were powerful throughout that period, Collingwood who were likewise, and Richmond who have ranged from mediocrity to the top tier. Yes we’ve had some cheap wins there against Melbourne too and a couple against Essendon.

Even allowing for the fact that there are away venues where we have a slightly better record, if you’re winning at a venue more than you’re losing, the dimensions of the ground itself and any idea of familiarity is a non-argument.
 

PJays

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I put some weight in the notion that the occasion or pressure has impacted some of our finals (I do baulk at the plebs who talks as though just because we’ve made all those finals series we should have won an extra 6 flags) but there is no measure by which you could ever say that the ground is a major factor.

We are 37-26 there since our last flag. We have played there predominantly against host sides at the ground, predominantly against Hawthorn who were powerful throughout that period, Collingwood who were likewise, and Richmond who have ranged from mediocrity to the top tier. Yes we’ve had some cheap wins there against Melbourne too and a couple against Essendon.

Even allowing for the fact that there are away venues where we have a slightly better record, if you’re winning at a venue more than you’re losing, the dimensions of the ground itself and any idea of familiarity is a non-argument.
Yeah, it's an interesting discussion and the 37-26 thing does suggest it's something about finals specifically rather than something about any particular ground

I tend to think of Geelong as a team who should be good in finals. They're experienced and have been forever. They have elite match winning players. Those are 2 things I regard highly in terms of finals.

Yet Geelong keep failing.

Which makes me wonder if it's something mental. Or certain players simply don't have that extra gear for finals footy in them. Or maybe there's something specific about the game plan that means it doesn't stack up under finals intensity.

Those seem likely explanations but I'm not a close enough observer to put a finger on it. All I know is the history isn't good and if I'm looking at probabilities that counts against them majorly.

If it was purely about H&A form they'd deserve to be runaway favourites. Best WL, best %. Huge winning streak including a comfortable win recently against the other big contender. And comfortable wins against other finals teams.
 

PhatBoy

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Yeah, it's an interesting discussion and the 37-26 thing does suggest it's something about finals specifically rather than something about any particular ground

I tend to think of Geelong as a team who should be good in finals. They're experienced and have been forever. They have elite match winning players. Those are 2 things I regard highly in terms of finals.

Yet Geelong keep failing.

Which makes me wonder if it's something mental. Or certain players simply don't have that extra gear for finals footy in them. Or maybe there's something specific about the game plan that means it doesn't stack up under finals intensity.

Those seem likely explanations but I'm not a close enough observer to put a finger on it. All I know is the history isn't good and if I'm looking at probabilities that counts against them majorly.

If it was purely about H&A form they'd deserve to be runaway favourites. Best WL, best %. Huge winning streak including a comfortable win recently against the other big contender. And comfortable wins against other finals teams.


I find it hard to put this into the right words and it doesn’t necessarily make sense when looked it numerically but one of my takes on it is this:

Look at the sides we’ve generally been knocked out by - Hawthorn in 2013, Sydney in 2016, Adelaide in 2017, Richmond in 2019 and 2020, Melbourne in 2021:

Now not all those sides won the flag. But all of them were sides that were peaking and in most cases if you remove ‘experience’ from the equation, deserved to be favourites.

Hawthorn were about to go on a 3 flag tear and were grand finalists the year before. Adelaide were the best team all year before half time on grand final day. Sydney were roaring towards a flag before somehow the Dogs got them. Richmond were a flag team at the peak of their powers, Melbourne were a week away from a second half blitz that rivalled our 2007 effort as the best grand final half of football played in 30 years.

All along through that period there was this constant that was in the mix: Geelong. At times I and others maybe thought we were better than we were but by and large we were ‘good enough’ without ever being a team that was peaking. We weren’t on the way up, and as the years went in there were less and less players who even knew what the top feels like.

I certainly think some of our game plans were a little bit passive and that we probably got stuck in the headlights a bit in finals against Fremantle, Sydney and Adelaide where we got jumped. But the overwhelming consistency across all those failed campaigns was this: we simply weren’t quite as good as at least 2, sometimes 3, of the other top 4 teams.
Collingwood who is the only other side this decade to have a similar finals record to us (33 per cent win record from memory) is in a similar boat. Regularly good, rarely THAT good. I would actually say that in the years since 2013 Sydney have botched more gilt edged chances than we have - two minor premierships with percentage of 141 and 150. They got further than us to be fair - they made the GF both years, but they lost it.

We won 1 minor premiership in that time, went 16-6, won on percentage (136) and lost a reasonably good prelim to Richmond with Hawkins missing - not to say we would have won im just pointing out we didn’t completely s**t the bed all things considered
 

PJays

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I find it hard to put this into the right words and it doesn’t necessarily make sense when looked it numerically but one of my takes on it is this:

Look at the sides we’ve generally been knocked out by - Hawthorn in 2013, Sydney in 2016, Adelaide in 2017, Richmond in 2019 and 2020, Melbourne in 2021:

Now not all those sides won the flag. But all of them were sides that were peaking and in most cases if you remove ‘experience’ from the equation, deserved to be favourites.

Hawthorn were about to go on a 3 flag tear and were grand finalists the year before. Adelaide were the best team all year before half time on grand final day. Sydney were roaring towards a flag before somehow the Dogs got them. Richmond were a flag team at the peak of their powers, Melbourne were a week away from a second half blitz that rivalled our 2007 effort as the best grand final half of football played in 30 years.

All along through that period there was this constant that was in the mix: Geelong. At times I and others maybe thought we were better than we were but by and large we were ‘good enough’ without ever being a team that was peaking. We weren’t on the way up, and as the years went in there were less and less players who even knew what the top feels like.

I certainly think some of our game plans were a little bit passive and that we probably got stuck in the headlights a bit in finals against Fremantle, Sydney and Adelaide where we got jumped. But the overwhelming consistency across all those failed campaigns was this: we simply weren’t quite as good as at least 2, sometimes 3, of the other top 4 teams.
Collingwood who is the only other side this decade to have a similar finals record to us (33 per cent win record from memory) is in a similar boat. Regularly good, rarely THAT good. I would actually say that in the years since 2013 Sydney have botched more gilt edged chances than we have - two minor premierships with percentage of 141 and 150. They got further than us to be fair - they made the GF both years, but they lost it.

We won 1 minor premiership in that time, went 16-6, won on percentage (136) and lost a reasonably good prelim to Richmond with Hawkins missing - not to say we would have won im just pointing out we didn’t completely s**t the bed all things considered
Very fair and astute post

I find that sometimes in sports there are well coached, well drilled, professional teams who play with good team work but get beaten in finals by teams who have a little more elite talent (Dusty, for example) or just have the ability and immense mental strength to rise a gear at crunch time. It's not necessarily a knock on Geelong if they're in the former group, more a credit to those in the latter group, like Richmond.

Time will tell if Melbourne are the next dynasty or whether the heights of the 21 finals won't be reached again.

If Melbourne don't find that extra gear again, Geelong could be ready, as a well coached, well drilled, professional team who can play at an elite level like they did in the 2 games leading up to the 20 GF and the opening half of that game.
 

Gysberts2Bate

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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
According to many the The Western™️ fans we only won the flag because teams didn’t start hunting us until after the GF.
 

The Hoops

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Lid’s off

Scott planned the rest for Stanley and took the big guy off at half time, otherwise why would we have the 203cm Neale as sub?

Good to see the rest of the team step up against a hostile crowd and beat a side playing for their season on their home deck.

Stanley back as expected…Lids still off!

Go Cats!
 

Tristan34

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Geelong do look faster with Stengle in the team.. Defensively they also got Dekoning who has really stepped up.. The rucks and midfield will need to stand up in finals IMO...
 

JohnZ

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Either/or/both. I was just making the overall point they've struggled in finals

Although some of The worst examples of them struggling in finals are definitely on the MCG, say, 2016 the first year with Danger when Sydney beat them comfortably in the prelim

Or 2017 when they got smashed by Richmond who finished below them

Or 2019 they lost to Collingwood and Richmond, 2 teams who finished below them

Those were all years with high expectations but those expectations were dashed on the MCG
The 2016 Sydney final was the worst of the lot. We just didn't show up. Absolutely putrid. 2017 SF against the Swans at the MCG and we smashed them. Go figure.

2017 was Richmond at their peak. Once they got that MCG final with 70% support in the stands nothing was stopping them.

2019 was when Chris Scott's ego was at its most, and he started experimenting with structures in finals (resting players and playing out of position).

2013, 2016, 2019, 2020 were all realistic flag years for the cats, it's very disappointing that we couldn't snag one of them. The others (207, 2018, 2021) were not.

2022, Chris Scott's ego has been brought into check, we've changed our coaching structure to remove specific line positions which has seen better team cohesion. It's our best chance since 2013, another PF loss would be devastating to say the least.
 

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iameviljez

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It's our best chance since 2013, another PF loss would be devastating to say the least.
In retrospect, we were cooked in 2013 when Dawson Simpson did his knee and Hawkins stuffed his back. We could cover losing midfielders or a tall defender, but we could not cover Hawkins (Podsiadly was cooked), and we absolutely could not cover Simpson.
 

JohnZ

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In retrospect, we were cooked in 2013 when Dawson Simpson did his knee and Hawkins stuffed his back. We could cover losing midfielders or a tall defender, but we could not cover Hawkins (Podsiadly was cooked), and we absolutely could not cover Simpson.
In 2013, the player we missed the most was Chappy. But agreed otherwise. Simpson was never the same after his knee injury.
 

iameviljez

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In 2013, the player we missed the most was Chappy. But agreed otherwise. Simpson was never the same after his knee injury.
With all due respect to Chappy, we could cover him - Motlop, SJ and Stokes could all kick goals, Bartel et al could replace the grunt. Not as good, but at least something.

But Hawk and Simpson - we literally had no AFL-standard replacement, hence Vardy , Walker and Blicavs.
 

PhatBoy

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With all due respect to Chappy, we could cover him - Motlop, SJ and Stokes could all kick goals, Bartel et al could replace the grunt. Not as good, but at least something.

But Hawk and Simpson - we literally had no AFL-standard replacement, hence Vardy , Walker and Blicavs.


Theoretically yes, in reality no

Pound for pound he was our best finals player during that era. He had a habit of playing his very best football when we needed it and could will himself to have an impact.

Like I agree with what you’re saying about the other guys too but Chapman was the closest thing we had to a barometer player in finals
 

Ricketz

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Chris has pushed his chips in - I like the play. For now Geelong is stopped and have been very close the last few tries. Perhaps there will be no pain for Geelong, but usually there is when you let your list get to this point.
Bleep bleep bloop bloop. Let's just let random sounds fall out, hey?

Wanna guess whose list is in better shape in five years time, North's or Cats?

Chris doesn't make the decisions on the list management strategy. It's not changing. We know we need to recruit differently, the soy boy top ten picks from WA and Melbourne can't handle life so far away in remote Geelong.

That's why we go for the country lads, they love the opportunity to stick it up to the snowflakes.
 

NetworkNerd

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AFL Member so all clubs I guess.
Currently smashing a St Kilda side with their season on the line.

Does any side have a chance? Doubt it
 

RUNVS

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Currently smashing a St Kilda side with their season on the line.

Does any side have a chance? Doubt it

Geelong do not have a good finals record in recent years. Melbourne, Sydney, Collingwood and Fremantle are all capable of beating them on their day.
 

PhatBoy

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Geelong do not have a good finals record in recent years. Melbourne, Sydney, Collingwood and Fremantle are all capable of beating them on their day.


I don’t disagree, you guys are a fantastic side and I have plenty of respect for the other 3 you mentioned but your finals percentage is pretty poor since your last flag as well, and so is Collingwood’s

Geelong are 7-15 in their last 22
Sydney are 6-10 and 3-8 in your last 11
Collingwood are 5-8 in their last 13.

I think all 3 have had a bit of an issue in the post season.
 

samDD

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Reality check:

Played Sydney once.
Played Collingwood once.
Played Melbourne once.
Played Brisbane once.
Played Fremantle once.

Played North Melbourne twice.
Played West Coast twice.

Geelong have once again been kissed on the d*ck by the AFL with fixtures. They've barely had to play their closest competition, and most of those games were at their narrow cow paddock at Kardinia, which they won't be allowed anywhere near for finals.
 

PhatBoy

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Reality check:

Played Sydney once.
Played Collingwood once.
Played Melbourne once.
Played Brisbane once.
Played Fremantle once.

Played North Melbourne twice.
Played West Coast twice.

Geelong have once again been kissed on the d*ck by the AFL with fixtures. They've barely had to play their closest competition, and most of those games were at their narrow cow paddock at Kardinia, which they won't be allowed anywhere near for finals.


Yes the same west coast who finished what, 9th last year? Oh yeah they really had their hand in the till when they scheduled us twice against them before a ball had been kicked

You know fremantle beat us there right? What was Brisbane and Melbourne’s excuse? The same Melbourne who beat us there last year. Oh that’s right they don’t have one because you’re full of s**t
 

My Cotchin Rules

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Reality check:

Played Sydney once.
Played Collingwood once.
Played Melbourne once.
Played Brisbane once.
Played Fremantle once.

Played North Melbourne twice.
Played West Coast twice.

Geelong have once again been kissed on the d*ck by the AFL with fixtures. They've barely had to play their closest competition, and most of those games were at their narrow cow paddock at Kardinia, which they won't be allowed anywhere near for finals.
We lost to North.... 🤐
 

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