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Enemy Analysis: Geelong

Josh Gabelich  April 21, 2017 8:45 AM

AFL 2017 Round 04 - Photographers Choice

Geelong premiership pair Tom Hawkins and Joel Selwood have been two key players across the first month.

Cats whacked for Hodge hits
The Age, Ronny Lerner
April 18

Geelong's massive win over Hawthorn on Easter Monday has come at a cost with two of their players offered suspensions from the match review panel.

Rookie James Parsons has been offered a two-match ban for a crude elbow to Hawthorn veteran Luke Hodge's head late in the game and midfielder Sam Menegola can accept a one-match sanction for his sling-tackle on Hodge.

If they opt against contesting the charges, Parsons and Menegola will miss the Cats' upcoming game against St Kilda while Parsons will also sit out the round six meeting with Collingwood.

New Cats shedding Dangerwood tag
Herald Sun, Sam Edmund
April 18

Geelong has changed Patrick Dangerfield and changed itself.

Exclusive statistics obtained by the Herald Sun reveal a total reprogramming of the game’s best player and reigning Brownlow Medallist.

In a bid to shed the “Dangerwood” tag it so dislikes, the Cats have Dangerfield handballing more and kicking less in a coalface role designed to make his teammates better.

Geelong has also morphed into a counter-attacking unit, dumping its forward press in favour of a deeper defence to avoid a repeat of last year’s preliminary final disaster against Sydney.

Persist with Harry Taylor up front, says Cameron Mooney
The Australian
April 20

Geelong triple-premiership player Cameron Mooney has seen enough to believe the Cats should persist with playing Harry Taylor up forward.

Chris Scott’s decision to re­invent Taylor as a key forward this season has been hotly de­bated. The All Australian defender hasn’t kicked a goal from four games and has admitted to struggling with the adjustment.

But retired Cats forward Mooney backed the tactical shift, saying it was a big part of the ­reason why spearhead Tom Hawkins (16 goals) was leading the Coleman Medal tally in a tie with Adelaide’s Eddie Betts.

Star

While it’s borderline impossible not to include one of Patrick Dangerfield or Joel Selwood here, given he is leading the Coleman medal after four rounds, Tom Hawkins is the main man at Kardinia Park right now. The dual premiership star has kicked three, four, five and four goals to sit in equal first alongside Adelaide superstar Eddie Betts. The powerhouse full forward is averaging a career-high 14.5 disposals and just under three contested marks per game. Expect new St Kilda key defender Nathan Brown to get the big job quelling Hawkins on Sunday.

Fresh Faces

High profile off-season acquisition Zach Tuohy has helped fill the void left by the retired Corey Enright in the opening month of 2017. After six seasons at Carlton, the Irishman has averaged 23.0 disposals, 5.5 rebound 50s and 402.1 metres gained, getting off to a bright start at the Cattery. Brandan Parfitt, Geelong’s first pick (No. 26) last November, has also made a strong start to his career in the hoops, playing all four games so far, earning a Rising Star nomination for his 23-disposal, five-tackle effort against Melbourne in Round 3. Mature-aged recruit Tom Stewart, the defender who inherited Enright’s iconic No. 44, has also played all four games in 2017 after being recruited from the Cats’ VFL side following a standout season last year.

Stats that matter

Geelong kick more goals per inside 50 entry than any other side in the competition, converting 36.4 per cent of entries into six-points. They are also ranked No. 2 for scores per inside 50 at 54.4 per cent, helping them to be also ranked No. 2 for points for at 121.8 points per game.

Team

B: Z. Tuohy, T. Lonergan, A. Mackie
HB: J. Thurlow, L. Henderson, T. Stewart
C: G. Horlin-Smith, J. Selwood, M. Duncan
HF: S. Motlop, H. Taylor, N. Cockatoo
F: B. Parfitt, T. Hawkins, D. Menzel
R: Z. Smith, P. Dangerfield, C. Guthrie
Interchange from: J. Bews, A. Black, M. Blicavs, D. Lang, J. Murdoch, T. Ruggles, R. Stanley

IN: G. Horlin-Smith, J. Bews, A. Black, D. Lang, R. Stanley
OUT: J. Parsons (suspended), S. Menegola (suspension)

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