Sam Mitchell wary of rebounding Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sam Mitchell wary of rebounding Cats

By Guy Hand 29/08/2011 06:05:31 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn onballer Sam Mitchell warns against writing off Geelong as legitimate AFL premiership contenders on the strength of one out-of-character loss.

Mitchell's Hawks will face the Cats in week one of the finals, and could be forgiven for casting an eye past their last home-and-away match against Gold Coast on Saturday towards the showdown with Geelong.

The Cats' shock defeat by Sydney at Skilled Stadium at the weekend prompted some obituaries for the 2007 and 2009 premiers.

But Mitchell said late-season losses hadn't spelled premiership disaster in recent years - and certainly shouldn't for a Geelong side he rates just as highly as he did prior to the Sydney match.

"People read a lot into one week," Mitchell said.

"In 2007 they lost their second-last game and I think it might have been the same in 2009, so I wouldn't read too much into it.

"I think they're a really good side. All that matters is those finals."

Mitchell declared himself a certain starter for the Hawks' clash at the Gold Coast after recovering from a minor knee injury.

He was a late withdrawal from the win over the Western Bulldogs last weekend after hurting his knee a week earlier.

But the onballer - arguably Hawthorn's best player this season - has promised to bounce back against the Suns.

"I would have liked to have played on the weekend but last Monday they said 'you'll probably be a bit sore, have a week off'," Mitchell said.

"But by Friday I thought I'd be right to go.

"It was probably the smart move to have the weekend off. If it was a final or a lot riding on the game, I'd have probably played."

Mitchell also said forward Cyril Rioli should be fit to play after being substituted in the Bulldogs match because of a calf injury.

"He's one that I guess they'll have a look at later in the week," Mitchell said.

"If it's a risk to play him they probably won't, but I imagine he'll be fine."

To further bolster the Hawks towards the finals, defender Ben Stratton has made a successful reserves comeback after badly injuring his knee earlier this season.

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