GEELONG V GOLD COAST MATCH PREVIEW
ROUND 6 2016: GEELONG CATS
V GOLD COAST SUNS
THIS WEEK IN FOCUS: Geelong head into this clash still having yet to show their best football in 2016 however the group will be satisfied that they are continuing to show signs of improvement. They will look to again develop whilst also picking up the four points, something the side is making a habit of. It was the case last week their 48 point victory a result of weathering a barrage of pressure in the opening term before running over the top after quarter time. The round five win must be kept in perspective however given the recent form of the opposition. The Cats should again dominate the midfield with captain Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan in exceptional form. Along with big bodies Patrick Dangerfield and Josh Caddy it is hard to see the Cats losing in the contested possession count this week particularly given the Suns will head in undersized and undermanned. The Cats can also expect to continue their defensive dominance, their 332 points conceded this year the second-least in the competition. The defence will be further bolstered by the inclusions of Jed Bews and Lachie Henderson, meaning the Suns face a significant challenge to kick a winning score.
One player who is likely to challenge this notion is Tom Lynch. At 23 years of age and now in his sixth season Lynch has developed into one of the AFL's premier key forwards. He currently leads the Coleman medal with 22 goals and was this week touted by Hawthorn legend Peter Hudson as a player who could kick 100 goals in a season. Suns coach Rodney Eade lamented frequent turnovers around the ground last week against North and should they be able to tidy this area up expect them to provide plenty of service to Lynch. Another player currently enjoying superb form is midfielder Aaron Hall. Hall's switch from the forward line to the middle last season saw him transform from likely delistee to ball magnet. That he currently sits second in disposals for the league is testament to this. The Suns midfield depth will however be severely tested by the Cats. Aside from Hall and the impressive Jesse Lonergan they have not shown they can perform consistently and captain Gary Ablett and the returning Dion Prestia are under injury clouds. Furthermore, a shoulder injury will see Michael Rischitelli sidelined this week, an omission compounded by ongoing injuries to David Swallow and Jeager O'Meara.
TEAM NEWS: Chris
Scott continues to chop and change with his side and has made two changes
this week recalling two defenders. Tom Ruggles has been 'managed' following
his three game introduction to the senior side and is replaced by a
similar player in Jed Bews, who will play his first game for the season.
Lachie Henderson also comes into the side having sat out last week's
game against Port Adelaide at the expense of Cory Gregson who has been
omitted for the second time this year. Intriguingly Gregson was initially
named as an emergency for this week but has been excluded further with
exciting yet injury-plagued big man Nathan Vardy coming into the match
PREDICTION: Geelong should be too strong for the Suns, however are likely to need to work for the full four quarters to secure the points. Geelong are far more stable in terms of fitness and team balance given they have almost a full list to choose from. Coupled with a home-ground advantage, it is difficult to see a second loss for the year. The Suns should not be discounted however, and it would not surprise to see them dictate some periods of the match, and even win a quarter or two.