MAINTAINING composure when in possession of the Sherrin has been a focus of Geelong coach Paul Hood heading into Friday night’s crucial final round AFLW clash with Greater Western Sydney.
The Cats were outmuscled during the second half of last week’s 36-point loss to Fremantle at GMHBA Stadium, with the Dockers’ pressure forcing Hood’s charges into countless errors.
“And what’s sort of happened a little bit throughout the season is that we play up-and-down, but the level of the opposition and the form that they’re in varies a little bit, too, because, in our competition, we’re all learning,” he said.
“You’ve got to rise with it, and for two quarters last week we were quite good.
“But when Fremantle raised their game in the last 30 minutes, we weren’t able to, so it’s something we’ve focused on this week.
“GWS play a contested brand of footy, too. They’ll be pretty fierce, so we’ll have to withstand that and get the ball moving our way.”
In a boost for the Cats, who can lock away a top-two finish with a win over the struggling Giants, experienced ruck Aasta O’Connor returns from a two-week suspension among three changes.
O’Connor, who was part of the Western Bulldogs’ premiership team last year, has played just three games in 2019.
“She’s a real professional. She’s done plenty in the last two weeks to make sure she’s in as good a shape as she can be,” Hood said.
“We’re really confident that she’ll go out and play well.
“But, she’s a terrific leader for the team and has got so much football experience and organises everyone so well on the ground.
“She spent last week in the coaches’ box having a look at how we played, and how Fremantle played against us.”