All Eyes On… Monsters Inc.
The Cats have had a comparatively good run of injuries so far this season, with some obvious exceptions. In that spirit, we’ll likely welcome back a couple of key pillars this week in Gary Rohan and Lachie Henderson.
Rohan kicked five the last time the two sides met back in Round 8, and though the Cats are still missing Jeremy Cameron, we will likely see a bit of Pat Dangerfield up forward, which as a threesome, isn’t too far off the original Three-Headed Monster.
However, structurally a Hendo return is a big win for the Cats.
Despite some un-Richmond like performances over the past month, the Tigers are still very Richmondy forward of the footy.
Jack Riewoldt showed last weekend that he remains very much an A-Grader in his 300th game and Tom Lynch is one of the few players who can rip the game out of the opposition's hands with his power, craft, and feel for the big game. He may not yet be a third ‘monster’, but it might also be time to start paying attention to young Mabior Chol, who has flashed more than a bit of star power at different times this year when he's gone forward.
The Misfits have been huge this year, new members and all, but the sight of the wily number 25 taking his usual spot down back will be very welcome.
All Eyes On… AirSava
It’s hard to know who was more excited about Esava Ratogulea signing a contract extension this week, the Cats faithful or big Sav himself.
If it wasn’t a big enough week for the 22-year-old, he’ll also play his 50th game for the club on Sunday since being taken with the 43rd pick back in 2016.
Cameron Ling was asked on this week’s To the Final Bell what a breakout game for Esava looks like and he had this to say:
“It’s an 8-10 tackle game,” he said. “An eight clearance game, six to eight intercept marks; standing strong in a pack helping out his defenders, with 18-20 possessions.”
“That type of game, that all-around physical, follow up and setting his on-ballers loose with some really strong ‘helping out in the backline’ marks. That feels like what the break-out game will be for Sav.”
Whether something like that happens this week, next week, or a little bit down the track, Cats fans were clearly thrilled with this week’s contract news, and so they should be.
Big things are on the horizon for Big Sav.
All Eyes On… Higgo 250
You can’t get more Geelong than Shaun Higgins.
He and his three siblings grew up in Geelong, Hamlyn Heights to be precise, his Dad Mick played some U19s and Reserves football for the Cats, and his earliest football memories are in the stands of Kardinia Park, complete with blue and white face paint.
From there he graduated to Newtown & Chilwell Football Club and then over to the Geelong Falcons.
If that’s not enough blue and white blood for you, sister Danielle has played 23 games to date for our AFLW team.
Unfortunately, the Western Bulldogs would swoop on the talented junior back in 2005, but after 129 games and 128 goals at the Kennel, and a 108 game stopover at Arden Street with the Kangaroos where he picked up two Best & Fairest medals and an All-Australian jumper, he finally got return to where it all began this season.
This weekend he’ll play his 250th AFL game, and it’s fitting that it’s in hoops.
Go well, Higgo.
All Eyes On… GMHBA Stadium The MCG
It was worth a shot.
The Cats will take on the Tigers at the MCG rather than on our home deck down at Kardinia Park at 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon.
The good news is that while the Cats record at GMHBA Stadium speaks for itself, it’s also true that Geelong has a better record at the MCG this year than Richmond does. The Tigers are 3-5 at the ground so far this season, while the Cats are 4-1, the only blemish being against the Demons in Round 4.
All of that said, there’s a bit of anyone, anywhere, anytime type attitude about this group, and besides, who doesn’t love playing at the MCG?
The Run Home: Rich (H), North Melbourne (A), GWS Giants (H), St.Kilda (H), Melbourne (H).