Gary Ablett celebrates Geelong’s win with Cats fans. Picture: Getty Images
Gary Ablett celebrates Geelong’s win with Cats fans. Picture: Getty Images

We can knock off Tigers: Cats coach

A RESURGENT Geelong is ready to "take a swing" at cracking Richmond's MCG dominance in next Friday night's blockbuster.

After returning inside the top eight following a convincing 42-point win over Brisbane on Saturday, Cats coach Chris Scott went on the front foot ahead of his team's biggest game of the season against the reigning premiers.

"We're just excited at the prospect of having a good swing at it," Scott said.

"I'm actually in the camp, and it's a small camp, that they can actually be beaten and why not us.

"I think we're in pretty good shape and it's a game that some people think the competition should be resigned to losing, I'm not in that camp.

"I think we can beat them but if we don't, we will focus on getting some good form and hope that we can get another chance."

The Cats haven't played at the MCG on a Friday night this season, which means it's been almost eight years since Gary Ablett was on the game's biggest stage.

Gary Ablett is looking forward to Friday night’s clash against the Tigers. Picture: AAP
Gary Ablett is looking forward to Friday night’s clash against the Tigers. Picture: AAP

Ablett's last Friday night adventure at the 'G was as a Geelong player in the 2010 preliminary final loss to Collingwood,

"You want to be peaking at the right time, they (Richmond) are obviously in great form, they just keep winning, keep getting it done," Ablett said after a game-high 38 possessions against the Lions.

"What's that 18 in a row for them at the MCG? It's going to be a good challenge but we're looking forward to it."

Geelong will have to do it without defender Tom Stewart who faces an extended stint on the sidelines because of a high left ankle sprain.

Stewart suffered the injury in the opening quarter and was in a moon boot afterwards with Scott bracing for life without the All-Australian candidate in the lead-up to finals.

"I suspect it's not good," Scott said.

"We've had a bit of experience with high ankle sprains, the syndesmosis injury, and that's the early diagnosis.

"What that means in terms of the prognosis is a bit of a challenge but we haven't had too many of them bounce back in a couple of weeks."

Patrick Dangerfield surges away from a lunging Dayne Zorko. Picture: Getty Images
Patrick Dangerfield surges away from a lunging Dayne Zorko. Picture: Getty Images

Geelong was again led by Tom Hawkins, who for the second consecutive week kicked seven goals, while the other major highlight was the continued good form of ruckman Rhys Stanley.

"He would be up there with the best ruckman in the competition at the moment," Scott said about Stanley who had an equal game-high eight clearances.

"Rhyce wasn't playing the footy he can play earlier in the year but he has turned it around, it's a credit to him and it's important to our team as well."

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan was frustrated that his team fell away badly in the second half after only being behind by 11 points at halftime.

"I thought we were extremely competitive in the first half but there was a one minute period just before halftime where they kicked two goals," Fagan said.

"And there was a five-minute period after halftime where they kicked three goals so they kicked five goals in about seven minutes. And that really was the game.

"In a sense we've gone down by seven goals but five were kicked in that short patch.

"A lot of that was out of the centre and our turnover. That probably sums up the game."

Dayne Beams led the Lions with 37 possessions but they struggled to break down the Cats defence with Daniel McStay the only multiple goal kicker with two goals in the first half.



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