Geelong triple blow puts heat on Hawkins - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong triple blow puts heat on Hawkins

01/04/2011 05:06:55 PM Comments (0)

Geelong have been dealt a major triple blow, with Joel Selwood, Cameron Mooney and Tom Lonergan out of Saturday night's AFL clash with Fremantle in Perth.

Selwood, knocked unconscious in an ugly collision in last week's one-point win over St Kilda, was ruled out by club doctors on Friday.

Key forward Mooney (general soreness) and defender Lonergan (calf strain) joined him as late withdrawals.

Mooney's absence has been offset somewhat by the return of fellow attacking target James Podsiadly.

Captain Cameron Ling and forward-midfielder Paul Chapman, who will play his 200th game, are also back after missing the Saints clash with fitness concerns, helping counter the loss of Selwood.

But Lonergan's absence further depletes a defence which had already lost star fullback Matthew Scarlett to suspension.

The Cats called up Cam Guthrie and Daniel Menzel, who both played against the Saints, and fellow youngster Allen Christensen to fill the void.

But the heat will be on Tom Hawkins to produce goals after the young forward struggled in his role as back-up ruckman last week, with just 10 touches, two marks, seven hit-outs and no goals.

Touted as a future star when drafted as a father-son pick in 2006, the 197cm, 105kg forward has so far mostly failed to live up to the hype, with just 80 goals in 62 games.

Geelong coach Chris Scott urged fans to be patient, saying the 22-year-old was still on track to become a prolific goalscorer, with his rucking ability a handy second string.

"Let's not beat around the bush, Tom didn't play as well as we needed him to on Friday night," Scott said.

"But I am amazed at the heat he gets outside of the Geelong footy club.

"He's 22, he came into the AFL as an 18-year-old looking like a monster.

"Those guys take a long time to develop.

"It's not like he's been a terrible player for four or five years.

"He's played in a premiership, he's won his spot on merit in a very good side."

The Dockers recalled forward Matt de Boer at the expense of last week's debutant Jayden Pitt.

Scott, who spent the past three seasons as a Fremantle assistant before taking the Geelong job, dismissed suggestions his inside knowledge would help much against the Dockers.

"The tactical battle in the box is a little bit overrated," Scott told Fairfax radio.

"I know Fremantle's good players very well, I know what Fremantle are good at, but it doesn't necessarily give me any advantage because I know some of those things.

"Even though you're well aware of them, they're very hard to stop."

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