Cats back on top after beating Kangaroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats back on top after beating Kangaroos

By Adam Cooper 04/07/2010 06:00:29 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson is yet to wipe away the threat of opposition small forwards despite his Cats making progress in Sunday's AFL win over North Melbourne at Skilled Stadium.

The reigning premiers focused on stopping the Kangaroos' goalsneaks in notching their 21st successive win at their home ground, a 14.14 (98) to 9.9 (63) victory which put them back on top of the ladder.

Geelong have been hurt by small forwards in losses this season, notably by Carlton's mosquito fleet in round five and by St Kilda's crumbers in round 13.

Thompson was rapt his defence kept Roos Lindsay Thomas and Matt Campbell to a combined 17 disposals and one goal.

The Cats strive to have no weaknesses but Thompson said they faced another test in rampant Hawthorn on Saturday.

"Everyone was talking about whether this was the one (weakness), if you play small forwards against us that our defenders can't play on them.

"I don't think it's completely gone away, we're going to get another test pretty soon on that."

Thomas' opponent Josh Hunt was one of the game's best players on Sunday by combining defence and attack, constantly setting up play from the backline with precision kicking.

Geelong amassed 505 disposals, a competition record, as Paul Chapman, Joel Corey and James Kelly all made encouraging returns with a combined 96 disposals.

The Cats also comfortably overcame the suspensions of Steve Johnson and Cameron Mooney in attack, as James Podsiadly posted a sixth five-goal haul for the season, and their own small forwards were busy.

"I was really happy with (Mathew) Stokes, (Travis) Varcoe and Shannon Byrnes, I thought they were outstanding in what they delivered, and Pods assumed the ball in the air and Westy (Trent West) chipped in," Thompson said.

Geelong controlled the game from quarter-time and were headed for a big win until the Kangaroos kicked the last four goals, but Thompson was unfazed.

"I'm not going to be too critical of the end, they knew the game was in control," he said.

"It wasn't the best game of the year to watch, to be involved in.

"We did what we needed to do, we had the points and I think probably had an eye towards next Saturday's game against Hawthorn."

North's Lachie Hansen booted four goals, but the visitors lacked players to have an impact and at times paid the price for being stripped of possession.

"We just need to polish our game up a bit," coach Brad Scott said.

"We make mistakes we're getting punished, and the difference between the best sides and lowest-ranked sides is that the best sides really make you pay for your errors.

"Geelong did that to us today - 11 of their 14 goals from our mistakes.

"If we can polish up our game and keep working at it we're headed in the right direction.

"I'd be sitting here really disappointed if I thought we couldn't compete with them, but we were absolutely able to compete man for man with them, so I was really pleased with that."

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