Cats expect few changes in Hawks rematch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats expect few changes in Hawks rematch

By Sam Lienert 07/06/2011 03:14:02 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Chris Scott says not much has changed about Hawthorn since the Cats handed them their most recent AFL defeat less than seven weeks ago.

The two sides will meet again at the MCG on Saturday night, with the undefeated Cats out to increase their five-match winning streak against the Hawks since losing the 2008 grand final.

While Hawthorn have won five games straight since the two clubs' most recent meeting, in round five, Scott said the Hawks' short-kicking style remained much the same during that stretch as the plan they used against the Cats.

"I still think they were trying to use that short kick a little bit earlier in the year, it was quite effective against us at times," Scott said.

"Maybe they've taken that to another level but their key players are still the same as they were earlier in the season.

"I'm pretty sure they've improved but I hope we've improved as well."

One major difference Scott wants on Saturday night is a better start.

In the round five meeting, Hawthorn were up 4.2 to nothing inside 11 minutes.

Starts have been one of the Cats' few weak points, having trailed at quarter-time in five of their 10 games.

Scott said they could not afford a repeat against a club of Hawthorn's quality.

"I suspect if we allow that to happen again it won't be as achievable to get back into the game."

He said breaking the Hawks' chains of precise kicks would be a key, but noted Hawthorn seemed to find that strategy harder to carry out at the MCG than in the sheltered Etihad Stadium.

Scott said Geelong might continue to tinker with their own set-up, despite their thumping win over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

Star forward-midfielder Paul Chapman is likely to return from a groin strain.

And recently-demoted forward Tom Hawkins is among several players making strong selection claims through the VFL.

Scott said the fact that the Cats kicked their biggest score of the season on Saturday did not mean the attacking set-up would stay the same.

He predicted Hawkins would be back in the AFL side "when it counts".

Likewise, Scott remained confident that veteran key forward Cameron Mooney would rediscover his best before the finals, despite the decision to give him an extended AFL break to find form and fitness.

Scott said Cats skipper Cameron Ling would probably line up on Hawks counterpart Luke Hodge, after having the better of him in recent meetings.

But he said finding an opponent for Hawks star Cyril Rioli, who kicked a career-best five goals in Sunday's win over Fremantle, would be tough.

"He's just a dynamic player, so that's going to be a challenge for us," Scott said.

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