Complacency Geelong's weak link: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Complacency Geelong's weak link: Harvey

By Justin Chadwick 17/06/2009 05:40:27 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has figured out Geelong's AFL weakness - they are simply too good.

The Dockers have been rated $7.50 underdogs by TAB Sportsbet to topple the unbeaten Cats ($1.08) at Subiaco Oval on Sunday and Harvey admitted there were few chinks in Geelong's armour.

"The only weakness Geelong have got is whether they get too far ahead on the scoreboard," Harvey said on Wednesday.

The Cats showed some vulnerability when they tackled West Coast in Perth a fortnight ago.

After shooting out to a 31-0 lead, Geelong became complacent, allowing the Eagles to close the margin to three points in the third term.

The Cats eventually woke from their slumber to etch a 22-point victory but Harvey hinted Geelong's lapse had given the Dockers hope they could snare the upset of the season.

"We've had a look at that game ... and where we need to zone in on a couple of areas ... to exploit Geelong," Harvey said.

"If you have a look at our last eight weeks we've been at the forefront of games, so we'd like to think we are going to be right there at some stage against Geelong."

The Dockers will be bolstered by the return of key position players Luke McPharlin and Antoni Grover, but Des Headland (quad) is an unlikely starter and Michael Johnson will miss at least another week with an ankle injury.

Small forward Hayden Ballantyne, who was selected for Fremantle's round 11 loss to Port Adelaide but withdrew due to a back spasm, will make his debut if he passes a fitness test later in the week.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson faces a few tough decisions at the selection table, with fit-again trio Max Rooke, Harry Taylor and Joel Corey all pushing for a recall.

Harvey said Geelong's midfield, boasting the likes of Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel, Joel Selwood, Corey, James Kelly and Cameron Ling, would provide his young side with a stern test.

"It's just a matter of how long our guys can sustain the competitive nature and the smart nature of playing in and around the midfield," he said.

Ablett gathered 43 possessions and booted two goals against the Eagles last round and Harvey said it would take a team effort to contain the white-hot 25-year-old.

"He's always involved in the play so it can be hard for one particular player," Harvey said.

"So we are just going to have to curb him as much as we can.

"It's more a team thing when you look at with a guy like Gary."

Harvey felt Geelong's grand final loss to Hawthorn last year had made them an even stronger side.

"I think they're really playing with a burning desire about correcting what happened in September last year," he said.

Sunday's match will be the first between the two sides since Dean Solomon's vicious elbow on Ling in round 15 last year.

But Harvey played down the possibility that any ill feeling lingered between the two players, jokingly saying he would tell Solomon "just to walk past Cameron and give him a wink".

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