Cats still set AFL standard, says Mick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats still set AFL standard, says Mick

Roger Vaughan 08/05/2011 04:34:44 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has argued that Geelong, not his reigning premiers, continue to set the standard in the AFL.

Malthouse has fired an early shot in the lead up to Friday night's massive MCG clash between the only two unbeaten teams after seven rounds.

"I'm not going to be ambushed one little bit by (Geelong coach) Chris Scott saying 'Collingwood are this, Collingwood are that', because Geelong have been that for the last five or six years," Malthouse told SEN on Sunday.

"We're not going to be mis-directed, that Collingwood are the be-all and end-all to the football world."

Malthouse was then asked if he thought that would be the sort of public comment that the Cats would make in the next few days.

"Of course they will," the Magpies coach replied.

Geelong are seen as the main challengers to the Magpies, who have been unbeaten since round 22 last year.

Collingwood smashed the Cats in last year's preliminary final, but Geelong have regrouped impressively under Scott and the 2007 and '09 premiers remain an AFL force.

But Malthouse said it was far too early to predict a Collingwood v Geelong grand final.

"There's always someone who creeps up on you ... some premierships are won from a long way back," he said.

"I know people are saying 'dominant Collingwood' - I don't think we are dominant.

"We're playing some good football, but even football - we're nowhere near the form of late last year and we don't need to be .

"There are five or six sides who could really challenge by rounds 15-16."

Malthouse said Friday's blockbuster would give Collingwood a good chance to test players who were not part of their premiership team.

One of them will be ruckman Cameron Wood, given that Malthouse has given top big man Darren Jolly no chance of returning this week from a knee injury.

"There's not a chance in hell he (Jolly) will play," Malthouse said.

"Cameron Wood's task is to go against Ottens, Mooney or Hawkins, whichever way they want to go, and see how he goes."

Collingwood are coming off the bye and the week's break has troubled several sides so far this season.

But Malthouse sees it as a positive, particularly given their VFL team have also had a break.

"It's pretty handy for the whole club," he said.

"There's no question you do get a bit scratchy, but you have two or three training sessions to get over that, so I don't see it as being really valid.

"It's more the case of who you've played and how well they've played."

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