Cats focus on the hard ball - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats focus on the hard ball

By Adam Cooper 08/08/2010 01:50:31 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson has promised the Cats won't be on the end of another thrashing in winning the hard ball next time they play Collingwood.

The Magpies' emphatic 144-102 win in contested disposals was the key behind their 22-point win at the MCG on Saturday night, which should secure the Pies the AFL's minor premiership.

Geelong led at half-time thanks to a six-goal burst in the second quarter, but Thompson said there was little to like in the 14.23 (107) to 12.13 (85) defeat.

The two sides are every chance to meet again in the finals, and Thompson said the Cats would not be dictated to so easily next time.

"I'd like us to win more contested ball, I'd like us to have a harder attitude about those sorts of things and put more of a physical contest on," he said.

"We were just far too easy to play against.

"That won't happen next time."

Thompson said there would be no panic in the wake of the defeat, as the reigning premier still had three weeks to get their game right before the finals.

The Cats play the Western Bulldogs in another crunch game next Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

"We'll back our people in," Thompson said.

"They'd be as disappointed as everybody associated with Geelong and want to do something about it.

"They're the lucky ones and they can do something about it and we all believe they will."

The Cats will monitor key defenders Matthew Scarlett and Harry Taylor this week, along with half-back David Wojcinski.

Scarlett copped a kick to the shin late in the game and Taylor hurt a shoulder when crunched by teammate Corey Enright in a marking contest, but both played out the game.

Wojcinski was a late withdrawal, as he experienced tightness in both hamstring tendons on Friday.

Full-forward James Podsiadly, who replaced Wojcinski, said the Cats were red-faced by their inability to match the Magpies' hardness.

"The 22 players who played were pretty embarrassed," he told the Seven Network on Sunday.

"That's something (winning contested disposals) we pride ourselves on and to lose it by that much is something that hasn't happened at Geelong for a long time."

Podsiadly said Collingwood's pressure skills were much-improved since the sides' previous meeting in round nine, when the Cats won by 36 points.

"The first thing that Collingwood did was really get in at the ball, they were in before us and ... they had their players covering our outlet players," he said.

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