GEELONG is preparing to confront the all-conquering 2018 AFL version of Melbourne rather than the outfit which surrendered meekly against Port Adelaide when they square off on Saturday night at GMHBA Stadium.
The Demons have endured an uncomfortable week in the spotlight since they were outscored 10 goals to five after quarter-time by the Power, who did a number on the Demons’ All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn.
“We can’t take them on that one game,” Cats prime mover Mitch Duncan told reporters on Friday.
“They have put in a body of work over the last few years that shows they’re a really good side.
“They’ve got some really good young kids that are turning into men and playing really hard footy.
“They’re a really good contested side and when they get the ball going their way I think they’re the No.1 team at scoring from stoppages, the No.1 inside 50 team, so the heat’s going to be on.”
The Cats won both home-and-away fixtures against Melbourne last year by less than a goal, only for the Demons to turn the tables in the elimination final, sparking a run all the way to the penultimate weekend of the season.
“We’re going to take them on last year’s value,” Duncan said.
“They reached a prelim final so they’re a really good side.
“There were a few sides that came out in round one that had a loss they probably weren’t expected to, but that’s footy these days.
“The competition is so even; if you’re off a little bit or the opposition play really well, you can have one of those days.”
The Cats got their season off to a flyer last weekend with an upset seven-point win over losing grand finalists Collingwood.
Coach Chris Scott has stuck with an unchanged line-up, meaning all four debutants held their spots.
The Demons’ defence has been stiffened this week by the inclusion of former Gold Coast duo Steven May and Kade Kolodjashnij.
May returns from a one-week suspension and is set to get first crack at Cats spearhead Tom Hawkins.
© AAP 2019