Hawks clash is one small step, says Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks clash is one small step, says Scott

By Roger Vaughan 21/04/2011 06:55:52 PM Comments (0)

It's one giant clash for AFL fans, but one small step for Geelong coach Chris Scott.

Tuesday's MCG blockbuster against Hawthorn will feature the second and third-placed sides and add another chapter to the fierce rivalry that has developed between these two modern powerhouses.

While the Cats have a four-game winning streak over the Hawks, the combined margin of those matches has been 20 points.

But Scott is more interested in what the match will show him about how his team's gameplan is developing.

"We're so focused on the way we want to play long-term and we need to keep moving really quickly," he said.

"We have some really firm ideas on the way we want to play, but we're also aware the game is going to change and we need to adapt with it.

"This is a small step along the way, against a really good opposition."

Scott disregards the notion that the winner of Tuesday's match becomes the No.1 challenger to reigning premiers and top side Collingwood.

"What happens in round five won't dictate what happens for the rest of the season," he said.

"It will give one side a little bit more of an advantage, that they can get over the line and win it.

"Everyone accepts, including me, that Collingwood are a little bit above everyone else at the moment.

"If we are playing well enough to beat Hawthorn, then that's just going to accentuate the attention on the challenge of Collingwood - we're prepared to embrace that pressure."

The Cats and Collingwood are the only two unbeaten teams, but Scott noted Geelong could easily have a 2-2 record.

Regardless, he is pleased with the season so far.

"Even if we were (2-2), we'd still be happy with our level of improvement," he said.

"We know we have a long way to go, but the signs are good."

Mathew Stokes, Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan have all been added to the Cats' extended squad on their return from injury.

Midfielder James Kelly should also be fit, despite being kneed in the groin against Sydney.

Scott said he had enjoyed watching the Geelong-Hawthorn rivalry as an outsider before this year, describing them as the sort of clashes that any player or coach would want to experience.

He warned against the Cats focusing too much on stopping Hawks star Lance Franklin, who kicked six goals last week in a match-winning performance against West Coast.

It was a mixed game for Franklin, who also had to put up with racial abuse.

Asked if stopping Franklin was the key to winning, Scott replied: "It will be one of them - Hawthorn's top six is exceptional.

"If Buddy kicks six, that's going to make it pretty hard for us to win.

"But if we put all our energies into stopping him, they have five, six, seven players who can easily step in and fill that breach."

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