Cats Look To Claw Back Top Two Spot

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Stephen Harman
Josh Caddy has been impressive in recent weeks for his new club. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Stephen Harman
Last Five Matches

Round 21, 2012 – Geelong 123 d St Kilda 81 at Etihad Stadium
Round 13, 2011 – Geelong 100 d St Kilda 72 at MCG
Round 1, 2011 – Geelong 48 d St Kilda 47 at MCG
Quarter Final, 2010 – St Kilda 83 d Geelong 79 at MCG
Round 13, 2010 – St Kilda 70 d Geelong 46 at MCG


Form

     Rd 13       Rd 14       Rd 15       Rd 16       Rd 17   
Geelong    L  W  W  W  L
St Kilda    W  L  L  L  L

Chris Scott refused to talk to his Geelong players after they were run down for the second time in a month, this time relinquishing a five-goal lead against Adelaide to go down by two points . On the back of Brisbane’s stunning revival to beat the Cats after being 52 points down at one stage, the coach was left to lament a lack of defensive pressure in the second half at AAMI Stadium. It was a strange turnaround, given the Cats had conceded just 146 points in total in their past three starts against Fremantle, Hawthorn and Melbourne.

On the flip side, St Kilda almost pulled off one of the great comebacks of the season, only to fall short against Port Adelaide. Down by 39 at the main break, the Saints launched a brilliant fightback to hit the lead late in the final term, but a silly 50-metre penalty ended their charge. It was the Saints’ fourth loss on the bounce, and eighth in nine games.

The Cats have made a raft of changes with Jimmy Bartel suspended, Josh Hunt out with a shin injury, while ruckman Mark Blicavs has finally been given a rest in his first full season. In good news for Chris Scott, the mecurial Steve Johnson returns from yet another suspension. Scott Watters has brought Jarryn Geary and Arryn Siposs in to his 22.


Key Men

(Cats) Josh Caddy – It has taken a bit of time for Josh Caddy to really nail down his place in Geelong’s best 22, but after his performances the past three weeks, you would think he’ll remain there heading in to the finals. After kicking a vital late goal against Hawthorn, he backed that up with 22 touches, seven tackles and two goals in the slosh against Melbourne, before booting another three in the loss to Adelaide. Gold Coast certainly didn’t want to lose the 20-year-old at the end of last season, and he’s showing why with his ability to play on the ball and forward of it.

(Saints) Jack Steven – Leigh Montagna was his usual industrious self on Saturday night, but unlike some previous weeks he had Jack Steven and Nick Dal Santo dominating alongside him. The difference between his best and worst games is certainly getting smaller, and against Port he was brilliant, picking up 25 touches and kicking three goals, two of which came in a thrilling final quarter. He has the ability to burst through packs and adds speed to St Kilda’s midfield.


Prediction

Chris Scott said he’s happier with where his team is now than where it was six weeks ago, but in that timeframe the Cats have had massive fadeouts against Brisbane and Adelaide which resulted in losses, and they almost threw away a big lead against Hawthorn. A top two spot is still up for grabs, but there are a couple of tricky contests yet to come. The Cats have won the past three against the Saints, and given the latter’s inability to get close to any of the top teams this year, the home side should be able to bounce back with a comfortable win. Power forward Tom Hawkins has only kicked 13 goals in his last seven games; he nailed six straight last time the teams met, and he should be able to take this game by the scruff of the neck against St Kilda’s woefully undersized defence. Geelong by 49 points .

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