There has been a lot to like about how the Cats have gone about things in the opening two rounds of the season, but the team isn’t satisfied with its performance yet, according to captain Meghan McDonald.
In the first fortnight, the Cats’ pressure and intensity has been notable, as they took the challenge up to North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and Carlton in consecutive weeks.
The Cats restricted the sides that beat them by a combined 95 points in 2021 to much lower margins, losing by eight and 14 points respectively.
Geelong’s ability to bring the pressure has been at the core of the turnaround, with a new-look line-up producing a different style of play in AFLW Season 6.
In the opening round, the Cats laid 66 tackles to the Roos’ 49 – 12 of the Cats’ tally coming inside 50.
Carlton had the edge with 54 tackles to 45 in Round 2, but the Cats’ intensity was strong again. The Cats had 23 spoils among their pressure acts, had 18 more contested possessions, 24 more ground ball gets and took nine more contested marks.
“We’ve had a great start to the season in many ways – we’ve seen a bunch of improvement,” McDonald said at the Pride Flag raising at GMHBA Stadium on Monday.
“That being said, I don’t think we’re satisfied with our performance yet, and we want to get that win on the board.
“We need to start working on our offence a little bit better and refining it and making sure we can kick a winnable score.
“Collingwood are a wonderful team … it will be a test for our girls, and we’re looking forward to welcoming a few back that will help us as well.”
The Cats were without key players Nina Morrison, Julia Crockett-Grills, Sophie Van de Heuvel, Georgie Rankin and Madisen Maguire through the AFL’s Health and Safety protocols last week.
McDonald said the Cats would need to strike the right balance between their strong contested work of the opening two rounds and an attack that can produce a winning score.
“No doubt our contest work has really improved, and we’re all on the same page with our system,” she said.
“I think the midfield is working together really well, we just need the balance on the outside and to make sure that we’re transitioning well and then attacking in a dynamic way.
“I can’t fault our contest work, it’s been amazing. Our pressure was really notable, especially in the first week. I think we’re really defensively sound as well, so it’s a great base to build from, and now we need to get it into the forwards more effectively.”
The Cats will be striving to click offensively when they take on Collingwood this Friday night. The Magpies sit third on the ladder and have been the fourth-highest scoring team over the opening two rounds.
The Cats’ Summer Footy Festival will return to GMHBA Stadium from 5pm on Friday, ahead of the 7.10pm game.
The FREE event will feature live music and entertainment, food trucks, giveaways and much more.