Geelong reliant on crumbers for goals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong reliant on crumbers for goals

By Adam Cooper 29/06/2010 07:13:02 PM Comments (0)

Geelong will rely on crumbers to post what they hope is a winning AFL score against North Melbourne on Sunday in the wake of the suspensions of two forwards.

The absences of Steve Johnson and Cameron Mooney will leave a gaping hole in attack at Skilled Stadium given Tom Hawkins and Brad Ottens are still not ready to return from bouts of foot soreness.

But Cats coach Mark Thompson is confident Geelong's likely inclusions, headed by star half-forward Paul Chapman, and the small forwards around James Podsiadly will provide the reigning premier with enough scoring power.

Johnson will miss the next three games for twice striking St Kilda's Steven Baker, but would have been absent this weekend anyway as he broke a bone in his right hand early last Friday night at the MCG, and had a pin inserted on Sunday.

Mooney is out for two games for striking Jason Blake.

But Thompson drew confidence from the likely returns of Chapman, who missed the grand final rematch through hamstring soreness, and midfielders James Kelly, who has overcome illness, and Joel Corey, who should play his first game since hurting a knee in round four.

"We'll probably get Chappy back, Podsiadly will play, (Travis) Varcoe, Shannon Byrnes and (Mathew) Stokes, they're all still there, so hopefully we've still got enough firepower to kick a winning score," Thompson said on Tuesday.

"Besides Pods it will be quite small."

Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel is expected to play despite hyper-extending his elbow against the Saints, but key defender Harry Taylor remains in doubt because of a cut foot.

Thompson was hopeful Geelong could write the defeat to the Saints off as a bad night, and challenged them to bounce back against the in-form Kangaroos, who have won their past three games.

"We know where it went wrong, it went wrong everywhere," Thompson said of last week's loss.

"We're hoping it is an aberration.

"History tells you we do rebound well, but you've still got to go out and do it.

"It's a tough time of the year, these cold wintry days, and you've got to get your head down and work hard, and hopefully our boys have got it in them to fight back and recover.

"I'm confident they have got it in them, but it's still yet to be done."

Thompson said Johnson's suspension would give the forward time to let his hand and other sore spots recover.

He said Hawkins and Ottens needed another week before pushing for selection.

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