Cats still chasing consistency

April 29, 2019 8:00 pm in by
(Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

THE bad news for the rest of the AFL is that Geelong doesn’t feel they have hit their straps properly yet.

Geelong’s demolition of West Coast on Sunday at GMHBA Stadium put them a game clear at the top of the ladder.

The win over the Eagles completed a tough six-game opening stretch for the Cats that featured five of last year’s finalists plus Adelaide, who had been tipped widely to bounce back this season.

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The challenges keep coming, with the annual country festival game on Sunday against resurgent Essendon at the MCG.

Star forward Tom Hawkins is not surprised by how well they have started.

“We’re still trying to play consistent footy – I don’t think we’ve played a full four-quarter effort yet,” he said.

“I’m certainly not surprised.

“We’ve had a really tough start to the year, but we’ll just keep grinding and get more consistent and better as a club.”

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Hawkins added they were yet to prove themselves as genuine premiership threats again.

“Our best football is certainly good enough to play well in finals and go deep,” he said.

“But the challenge for us is to play consistently like that – we’ve only seen a small sample size.

One of the features of Geelong’s barnstorming start has been their re-cast forward line.

While Hawkins remains the key forward, there have been significant changes around him.

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Gary Ablett has starred in the past fortnight as a permanent half-forward, while recruits Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus also have impressed.

Hawkins noted it was easier for the forwards to fire when the midfielders and defenders were also in such solid form.

“Certainly, the personnel is different but, as a collective, as a team, we’re playing a lot better,” he said.

“The way the mids are hunting the footy and pressing in after (it) allows our defenders to get up in the game when we win the footy and we can apply pressure because our defenders have really good starting positions.”

Hawkins said Rohan was relishing his move from Sydney and the benefits of a proper pre-season.

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“I was really excited to get him and then (for him) to get through a pre-season,” he said.

“It just gives you a good opportunity to play well … he’s come in and been outstanding.

“He’s taken a lot of really nice pack marks, but some of his defensive work, that’s what we love most about his game.”

© AAP 2019