Geelong and Brisbane shapes as an intriguing matchup between two quality teams when they meet at the SCG on Thursday night at 7.40pm.
The Cats will enter the match on a high after a convincing 37-point win against the Suns saw Geelong win consecutive games for the first time in 12 months.
The win moved the Cats inside the top four for the first time this season. A spot below the Lions who are in second place.
Brisbane as arguably the form team of the competition after easily dispatching Port Adelaide last week.
They are top five in the competition in most key areas and Geelong will need to be at their best if they want to secure the four points on Thursday night.
TV: Channel Seven, Fox Footy, Kayo
Radio: K Rock Football
Last time we met
Round 22, 2019 - Geelong 10.14 (74) def by Brisbane 10.15 (75)
A brilliant contest was decided by only one-point. Geelong led for most of the match before former Cat Lincoln McCarthy gave Brisbane the lead late in the final term.
Charlie Cameron was best-on-ground with five goals, while Patrick Dangerfield was the leading disposal winner with 36 touches and nine clearances.
For and Against
Played: 232 | Won: 132 | Drawn: 1 | Lost: 99
Home Sweet Home?
Who would have thought at the start of the year that the Cats would be hosting Brisbane at the SCG for premiership points.
Funnily enough though it has actually happened before. Geelong has previously hosted two games at the SCG and won them both. They defeated Melbourne by 49 points in 1981 and Carlton by 10 points in 1903.
The SCG has been a happy hunting ground for the Cats, winning 20 of their 34 games at the ground.
Scott on Lions
Coming off a five-day break the focus for the team this week has been rest and rejuvenation.
The Cats held their main training session at Henson Park on Tuesday and coach Chris Scott said ‘he can’t think of any bigger challenge’ than playing Brisbane at the moment.
“I think Brisbane could make a reasonable case for being the form team of the competition at the moment,” Scott said at Tuesday’s press conference.
“They are not reliant on any players, they have got some absolute stars, (Harris) Andrews as a key back, (Lachie) Neale as a mid, (Charlie) Cameron as a forward, but there are lots of others that are very close to that level.”
“You don’t finish top four by accident and I think their last month has shown that if they’re not the benchmark at the moment, they’re pretty close.”
Brisbane’s aerial game has been on point to start the season. They are ranked second in the competition for contested marks.
They are particularly damaging inside forward 50 with their tall trio of Daniel McStay, Oscar McInerney and Eric Hipwood combining for 20 contested marks after five rounds.
Their small forwards in Lincoln McCarthy (5) and the elusive Charlie Cameron (3) are also underrated overhead and equally damaging when the ball hits the ground, making them tough opponents to man.
Playing in front of a crowd
For the first time this season Geelong will play in front of a crowd and key forward Tom Hawkins is looking forward to it.
“For the first time this year there are going to be some people in the stands for us, so that will be interesting but looking forward to the contest,” Hawkins said.
“There is nothing quite like playing the best sides and we are looking forward to testing ourselves of where we are at.”
Danger brings up ton
Finally, Patrick Dangerfield will become the 93rd Geelong player to play 100 games for the club.
Since joining the Cats in 2016, Dangerfield has had a significant impact not only on the the field but in driving the culture off it.
He will join current teammates Joel Selwood, Harry Taylor, Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett Jnr, Mitch Duncan, Cameron Guthrie and Mark Blicavs in reaching the milestone.
His football achievements during that period has been incredible, winning three Carji Greeves Medals, a Brownlow Medal and featuring in the All Australian team each year.