Cats confident of keeping mental edge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats confident of keeping mental edge

By Sam Lienert 18/07/2008 07:16:30 PM Comments (0)

Geelong midfielder Max Rooke believes the Cats will maintain a mental edge over the rest of the AFL regardless of the result of Saturday's table-topping clash with the Western Bulldogs.

The reigning premiers, hurt by injuries to Brownlow favourite Gary Ablett and gun tagger Cameron Ling, will give up top spot to the Bulldogs if they lose the much-anticipated Skilled Stadium clash.

It would also give the `Dogs a clean sweep over every side currently in the top eight, having recorded wins against the other six already this season.

But the Cats, who meet the season's other pace-setter Hawthorn next round, do not believe their reputation as the most-feared club in the league is on the line.

"It would obviously be nice to beat them, but I think we've probably got a bit of a mental edge over most sides anyway at the moment just from our form over the last nearly two years," Rooke said.

"So I don't think it's going to be any different."

While the sellout one versus two clash has been keenly awaited by fans, Rooke said it was just another game for the Cats as they gear up for September.

"It hasn't been much different for us, really, probably it has been more for supporters who can get to the game and that sort of thing, but for us it's just like the other weeks," he said.

"Obviously we're going to be up against some really good competition, but ... from week to week, no matter who we play, just our attitude and our focus don't vary at all."

Rooke said the main concern for the Cats was maintaining their strong recent form.

Their past four rounds have yielded huge wins over Port Adelaide, West Coast, Adelaide and Fremantle, by an average margin of 81 points.

"We've been nearly at our best, we just want to keep taking it into the finals, that sort of form," he said.

He admitted the loss of Ling, out for a month after having his cheekbone fractured by Fremantle's Dean Solomon, and Ablett, who hurt his ankle against the Dockers, would be a major challenge.

In Ling's absence, Rooke has been tipped as a possible match-up option for Bulldogs midfield star Adam Cooney, but he said no one in the Geelong team could fully replace Ling's shut-down ability.

"We'll probably just play to our strengths and not try to sort of invent something just to replace him," he said.

While teams in recent weeks have attempted to attack the Cats physically, without much success, a different approach is expected from the Bulldogs, the AFL's No.1 attacking team.

"The Bulldogs will probably come out and maybe just have a bit of a shootout, because obviously their strength is their offence," Rooke said.

The `Dogs have been strengthened by the return of classy midfielder Ryan Griffen, who missed the Demons clash for family reasons, as well as key forward Scott Welsh from injury.

The Cats have regained James Kelly from a calf strain and recalled Brent Prismall in place of Ling and Ablett.

The Cats dismissed rumours that Ablett's ankle injury was worse than first thought.

Some agencies suspended Brownlow betting, citing speculation that Ablett would miss the rest of the season, rather than the one or two games predicted by the club.

But the Cats said no circumstances had changed to alter their initial view.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news