Geelong were relentless last weekend against the Blues, gaining ascendancy from the get-go, as they ran out comfortable 65 point winners. Six goals from the Tomahawk provided the spearhead for the Cats as they dominated the helpless Blues. However this week proves as a much bigger task for the Cats, for a number of reasons. They face a Sydney side who are still one of the most in-form teams in the league – even after losing last week. They also must face the Swans without the best player in the competition, Patrick Dangerfield.
Sydney’s seven game win streak was put to an end last weekend at the hands of the Hawks, however John Longmire will be hoping that was just a minor hiccup. They face probably the biggest test in football this week – Geelong at Simonds Stadium. However a good record more recently against the Cats gives Swans fans some hope coming into Friday night’s blockbuster. They will hope that Lance Franklin can produce a better display than he did last Friday night, which will indeed go a long way into them winning the game. All in all, this game is almost impossible to pick.
Preliminary Final, 2016: Sydney 15.7 (97) def Geelong 8.12 (60) at the MCG
RD 16, 2016: Sydney 15.8 (98) def Geelong 9.6 (60) at Simonds Stadium
RD 19, 2015: Geelong 14.11 (95) def Sydney 9.9 (63) at Simonds Stadium
RD 7, 2015: Sydney 18.12 (120) def Geelong 11.11 (77) at ANZ Stadium
RD 11, 2014: Sydney 22.16 (148) def Geelong 5.8 (38) at the SCG
Sydney have the wood over the Cats in more recent times, most specifically in last seasons preliminary final that saw the Swans record one of their best wins in some time. Despite 78 touches combined from ‘Dangerwood’, the Swans were way too strong for a rather disappointing Geelong outfit. At least Sydney won’t have to worry about Patrick Dangerfield this week, as they look for their fifth win in six games against the boys from Kardinia Park.
This game could be decided on the changes to each team this week, with Sydney’s final 22 looking a whole lot better than it did one week ago. We know Danger is out, which obviously says advantage Sydney. However Sydney’s ins are absolutely massive. Kurt Tippett, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan and Jake Lloyd. Four brilliant inclusions if you ask me. While JPK is out, this loss in some ways is cancelled out by Danger being ineligible for this game.
Speaking of massive changes, how about Sydney’s massive forward line? Buddy, Tippett and Reid. This could potentially be quite deadly. The Swans average just under 16 goals a game in their past five meetings against the Cats, and their forward line stature may be too much for Geelong to handle. Will the backline of Lachie Henderson, Tom Lonergan and Jed Bews be able to handle these three giants?
This game will also give an indication of which team wants it more. Despite Geelong being so good all season, a loss here can see them slip into fourth position come Sunday night. This puts them right back in the mix and in jeopardy of a double chance. For Sydney, a loss could see them out of the eight in general! A huge game is in store for both teams, and the result may indeed come to the team who is hungrier.
While the forward line of Sydney has been hyped up, how about Tom Hawkins’ performance last weekend? 27 disposals, five score assists and six goals – the complete performance. While he is up against much harder opposition this weekend, there is no doubt that he is capable of backing this performance up on Friday night. There is no downplaying the ability of Harry Taylor also, who has transformed himself from a key defender to a forward with the ability to get on the scoreboard. A high scoring contest may be in store.
INS: Zach Guthrie, Sam Simpson
OUTS: Patrick Dangerfield (suspension), Nakia Cockatoo (hamstring)
B: Jed Bews, Tom Lonergan, Jake Kolodjashnij
HB: Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Zach Tuohy
C: Andrew Mackie, Joel Selwood, Jordan Murdoch
HF: Sam Menegola, Harry Taylor, Scott Selwood
F: Brandan Parfitt, Tom Hawkins, James Parsons
FOL: Zac Smith, Mitch Duncan, Cameron Guthrie
I/C: Wylie Buzza, Zach Guthrie, Sam Simpson, Jackson Thurlow
INS: Jake Lloyd, Kurt Tippett, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan
OUTS: Josh Kennedy (hamstring), Sam Naismith (abdominal strain), Jordan Foote (omission), Daniel Robinson (omitted)
B: Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Jarrad McVeigh
HB: Dane Rampe, Lewis Melican, Jake Lloyd
C: Callum Mills, Dan Hannebery, Zak Jones
HF: Isaac Heeney, Lance Franklin, George Hewett
F: Dean Towers, Callum Sinclair, Tom Papley
FOL: Kurt Tippett, Luke Parker, Kieren Jack
I/C: Will Hayward, Nic Newman, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan
The Swans have a point to prove after their loss last week, and their ins will prove to be too strong for this Geelong side, not to mention the loss of Patrick Dangerfield. Sydney will just get this one. Sydney by four points.
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