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Cats challenging, but a way to go: Scott

By Sam Lienert 27/04/2011 08:20:03 AM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Chris Scott believes the Cats have done all they can so far to prove themselves Collingwood's greatest challenger as AFL premiership favourites.

But he adds that questions over whether the Cats' age and previous accomplishments have dulled their staying power or motivation are yet to be fully answered.

Geelong maintained their perfect record against Hawthorn since losing the 2008 AFL grand final, with an impressive 17.15 (117) to 15.8 (98) win at the MCG on Tuesday.

The Cats trailed at the first two breaks, but showed enormous character to finish much stronger than the Hawks in a bruising and at times exhilarating encounter in front of a crowd of 78,579.

It left them alongside the Magpies as the season's only undefeated sides, setting the scene for a tantalising round eight clash at the MCG on May 13.

But first-year coach Scott said that while an experienced list, the bulk of which is the same as that which delivered the club their 2007 and 2009 premierships, had so far defied the critics tipping a slide, it did not guarantee they would continue to do so.

"I agree with it right at the moment," the Cats coach said of suggestions Geelong were one of the Magpies' main threats.

"But we're not about today or tomorrow, we're about the course of the season and staying in for the duration.

"Questions that have been put to Geelong, not just the playing group but the whole club, are legitimate questions. The suggestion is that you can't hang on for too long.

"Well, we have come some way to answering that for the first five weeks, but those questions are still going to be around in 20 weeks time, no matter how well we're going."

Scott said Geelong had shown they could stand up to significant pressure, having withstood a fierce assault, when the Hawks kicked 4.2 to nothing in the opening 11 minutes.

But he said they had not yet demonstrated they were ready to match the Magpies, who thumped them in a preliminary final last season.

"Collingwood can say with some justification that they're ahead of everyone else, I'm prepared to accept that at the moment," Scott said.

"Everyone else is fighting and scrapping to stay in the competition."

Fullback Matthew Scarlett, who was best afield in his 250th game, agreed Collingwood were still the pacesetters, but said the Cats were eyeing off their upcoming meeting.

"Of course we're looking forward to playing them," he said.

"They are a step above, no doubt. They're the best side in the competition, quite clearly.

"We're trying to catch them. Today was another small step, we're not kidding ourselves walking around thinking we're the best side."

But he said he and his teammates continued to thrive on big games and crave further success.

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