Geelong's Thompson unfazed by lapses - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong's Thompson unfazed by lapses

By Adam Cooper 10/04/2009 06:11:29 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's Mark Thompson could spend more time angry this AFL season but is unfazed by his side's lapses in three games.

Instead, the coach in charge of one of the game's powerhouse believes the tempo of life in the AFL has increased even from last year.

The Cats posted their third straight win on Thursday night in beating Collingwood by 27 points at the MCG after being ambushed in the first quarter and then out-played in the third.

The win, based largely on an eight-goal second quarter, followed troughs in the first two games, when the Cats survived a final-quarter fright against Hawthorn in round one, and were hit hard by Richmond's challenge in the third term last week.

Thompson said he was equal parts pleased and angry with Geelong's performance against the Magpies, but put the flat patches down to the vagaries of the early part of the season.

"That's just footy at the start of the year and its probably the hardest period to play in, he said after Geelong's 18.14 (122) to 13.17 (95) win.

"Our players said the football's even got quicker, the hits have got harder.

"So there's certainly going to be fluctuations in games between weeks, so I have no problems with how we're playing.

"It's great that we're winning and we've still got a lot of footy left. Its only round three, a long way to go."

While Paul Chapman's four goals and 35 disposals made him the obvious stand-out, Thompson was also pleased by the efforts of some of his unheralded players.

Key defender Harry Taylor and goalsneak Travis Varcoe both had nights to remember for the Cats.

Taylor had the beating Collingwood forward Travis Cloke and Varcoe booted a couple of goals from nothing.

Thompson said Taylor, 22, and in just his second season continued punching above his weight as a defender who could keep up with big forwards with good endurance.

"Harry has been getting some big scalps and some big tasks in his first year-and-a-bit, so for him to play on Travis Cloke, who we rate really highly, was outstanding for us," he said.

Varcoe gathered 16 disposals but conjured goals from good contests on the ground and reading the play, and Thompson said the No.5 was beginning to exert more influence on games.

"We love what he's doing and love him to be more positive and take the game on more quicker than he has, but slowly step by step he's starting to feel confident at this level," he said.

"Some of the brilliant things you see, if he can do that more often in games he's going to be a very good player for us."

Midfielder Cameron Ling played out the game with a sore ankle and could be in doubt to play Adelaide in round four.

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