Cats crush Pies, Stewart eyes the Lions

October 15, 2020 BY

Zach Tuohy kicked Geelong’s first goal in the Cats’ 68-point demolition of Collingwood in the semi-final. Photo: GEELONG CATS

THE Cats will fight for a spot in the AFL grand final this weekend after a dominant semi-final against Collingwood.
Geelong will face Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night, with the winner to take on either Port Adelaide or Richmond in the season’s decider.
Speaking the day after the 68-point victory over the Magpies in the semi-final, Cats defender Tom Stewart said his side had bounced back after losing to Port Adelaide in the qualifying final on October 1.
“I think a lot of the discussion around last week against Port was we sort of missed our chances, but last night was really pleasing for the club to give those boys ahead of the ball some good looks and finish our work. It’s a good step, but it’s only one step in the right direction and we’ve got plenty of work to do.
“Without copping too much, we maybe copped a bit for underperforming when we went over to Adelaide, so to see everyone contribute and everyone play exceptionally well was really pleasing for us as a group. But we’ve got to rest up and get ready for a really big test against Brisbane this week.”
Geelong’s finals record under coach Chris Scott again came into focus after the qualifying final loss, but Stewart said he and his team-mates were not spurred by the criticism.
“I don’t think internally we really needed that to sharpen us. We were obviously really disappointed with the way we played over in Adelaide, but we knew if we produced what we’d produced over the year, we were going to be held in really good stead. Last night was probably an anomaly with how we played and how well we did play in terms of the margin of the victory, but we knew our capacity was good enough to match it against most teams, so it was really pleasing in that respect.”
The Cats mauled the Pies from almost the first bounce, leading by 22 points at quarter time and 54 points at half time.
“It was still nil-all at the six or seven minute mark before Zach (Tuohy) kicked that goal, so it was a bit of an armwrestle there, but once we started to work into the contest and we got some flow into the game, it started to open up and we started to play some pretty good footy,” Stewart said, adding he was happy Geelong’s defensive unit held Collingwood to only seven points until seven minutes into the final quarter.
“It was pretty good. We’ve been doing a lot of work on resetting, moment by moment, quarter by quarter, so to look up at three-quarter time and see that was really pleasing. Obviously they got a couple late, which always sticks in the back of the mind as a defender, and you can’t be too pleased when they kick a couple of goals in a row.”
Geelong has won all four games it has played at the Gabba this year.
“I just really enjoy the ground,” Stewart said. “It’s a great surface area, it’s held up really well throughout the year for the amount of games there, and it’s just good fun to play at.
“We’ve had a good record there, and hopefully we’ll play the next two there. It’s basically the same size as the MCG, it’s a little bit narrower and slightly shorter but not too much dissimilar than that. Maybe we just see the game better there.”
The Lions come into the preliminary final following a week’s rest after beating Richmond, and Stewart said the Cats should expect and want a tough contest.
“Brisbane have got weapons all over the ground – they’ve got stars around the ball, stars in front of the ball and stars behind the ball – so if we can give our forwards a chance and play it in a contest, it’ll go a long way towards achieving what we want to achieve.
“They had an amazing win against Richmond last time, so they’ll be full of confidence and really backing their game plan in, so we’ve got to respect that and want that – we want that contest, and we want that chance again to hopefully play in a grand final.”

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