Easter Monday blockbuster
The best rivalry in modern footy continues Monday as the 3-0 Cats face a struggling Hawthorn side yet to register a win in 2017.
The Cats are coming off a win against a wasteful Melbourne in which the Dees kicked 19 behinds, led by the usual superstar pair of Joel Selwood and Paddy Dangerfield, whilst Tom Hawkins and the reborn Daniel Menzel continued their dangerous combination up forward. Youngster Brandan Parfitt was awarded the round 3 nomination of the NAB rising star, the first Cat to be nominated since 2015.
The Hawks will be eager to respond after their nightmare 86 point thumping at the hands of the struggling Gold Coast Suns at Metricon stadium that saw the Hawks slip to unfamiliar territory of the bottom of the ladder. Stars Luke Bruest, Josh Gibson and Shaun Burgoyne have struggled in the early rounds of 2017, and will need to recapture their best form if the Hawks are going to get their season back on track.
The Cats have omitted Lincoln McCarthy and have brought in Josh Cowan, George Horlin-Smith, Rhys Stanley and Nakia Cockatoo to round out their squad of 25, while Hawthorn have dropped youngster Teia Miles while boom recruit Jaeger O’Meara is out after a knock to his troublesome knee. Tim O’Brien, James Sicily, Blake Hardwick, Daniel Howe and Billy Hartung come into the Hawks squad of 25.
The punters have Geelong as the clear favourite, being $1.42 to Hawthorn’s $2.90
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
THE “DANGERWOOD” PROBLEM
The Hawks have the daunting task of containing the combination of Joel Selwood and Paddy Dangerfield, in which both stars have made terrific starts to season 2017. Dangerfield in two match ups with the Hawks in 2016 saw him gather an incredible 43 disposals in his Geelong debut against the Hawks last Easter Monday and 35 in the thrilling qualifying final which saw the Cats pip the Hawks by 2 points. Dangerfield has also managed to kick 7 goals whilst resting up forward so far this season. Selwood is coming off a 37 disposal, 1 goal day out against Melbourne in round 3.
Geelong’s forward line has been terrific and efficient in the first 3 rounds of the season, Tom Hawkins and Daniel Menzel headlining the Cats attack in recent weeks, combining for 22 goals so far this season. Geelong is converting at 64% in front of goal so far this year, the best in the league. Hawthorn’s big name forwards have struggled so far in 2017, Jack Gunston has just 4 behinds to his name, Luke Bruest registered 7 disposals in the loss to the Suns, and forward ruckman Tyrone Vickery has only kicked the one goal for the year. Compared to the Cats the Hawks are struggling in front of goal, converting at 46%.
Champion Cyril Rioli has had a slow start this year, so it will be interesting to see how he fairs this week against a really tough opposition. Rioli has averaged only 11 disposals and his pressure has dropped off also, averaging just the 3 tackles.
The Easter Monday clashes have been host to some of the best games in recent years, with Geelong holding the clear advantage over the Hawks, winning 6 of the 7 games being played on Easter Monday. Also, since 2010, there have been 6 games decided by less than a goal, fans certainly seem to always get their moneys worth when these two teams come head to head.
First bounce will be at 3:20pm