In life, finishing in the top 10 or 20 percent of people or teams is something to be proud of, but in the fierce world of sports it is often not enough to unless there is also a flag
It’s hard to create a candidate who can stay in the window for an extended period of time Geelong did, but could come to the end of his current stretch (at least without reinforcements)
Not only did the Cats field the four oldest teams on record in October, their most important players are on the older end of the scale.
Much of the focus this year will be on Richmond and his quest for a third prime minister in four years
But Geelong has also had a long streak of great teams, including four of the top four at home and away over the past five years.
Most will point out that these Cats teams have won a total of three finals in the previous four years Many will say that not winning a grand final would mean the period was a loss
For Geelong coach Chris Scott and his accusations, Saturday night is the perfect opportunity to overturn that opinion once and for all and overcome that final hurdle
There are many ways to build teams Some start with the engine room, those who win the ball and keep it away from their opponents Others look at the hitting power going forward
The Geelongs, in their most recent era, have built on a solid foundation Despite the acclaim and praise given to their midfielders and strikers, it’s a nullifying defensive foundation that drives the Cats’ success
There are only two former All Australians in Geelong’s backline, and one of them – Harry Taylor – last did on the AA side in 2011 Despite this, they did indeed merged as a group that stops other teams before they can start
The team also ranks near the top to avoid head-to-head losses Even when teams can isolate them, they usually hold on
The elements of the defense are largely built from alternate routes – Taylor is the only top 20 pick in the group Tom Stewart, the other All Australian, was a mature national pickup who thrived at the AFL level The rest range from rookies (Jack Henry) to off-roster (Lachie Henderson), and all the stops in between
The Cats are also generating real scoring opportunities from the back half – with over 40% of their goals in strings starting in the back half so far in the final In contrast, Richmond only managed 25% of goals from the same starting point
This also applies higher up the field – no side allows less undisputed possessions than cats do to their opponents.
Cats prioritize denying opponents the chance to get a clear ball in midfield, or finding overlaps in the lane.If the cats can control possession in the middle, they’ll be solidly on track
While a good portion of the game of football is played below shoulder height, a lot of the important stuff – and the highlights – happen overhead although you can’t throw a goal overhead. above your shoulders is often how you win those shots on goal
With the advanced press, third players, and modern tactical play, there is an advantage in being able to both hold onto possession and gain significant territory at the same time Some parties, like Richmond, are more than willing to give it a shot. the chance to run and wear
When things are going well, Geelong is the modern definition of a ‘score first’ team. No side generally takes more notes than the Cats, and they do their best to honor their leaders. teammates Geelong games have fewer contested points than games involving any other team except Sydney’s Great West
Instead of always bombarding it on the heads of their teammates, they find space that few other teams can. Ball users like Gary Ablett Jr, Sam Menegola, Mitch Duncan, Zach Tuohy can be counted on and even the riskiest Patrick Dangerfield to weigh kicks in favor of teammates
No team gets more points in the lead than the Cats, or refuses the opposition to do the same
Cats also dominate the brands where it matters most – inside 50, both for and against Geelong has the best rating inside the 50 differential this year Having the best individual rating and the league top scorer assists
Not only can they find targets within 50, but they can deny opposing teams good opportunities as well.
Part of this is that the cats generally have a size advantage on most sides.They will likely enter the grand finale with a lead of three centimeters and three kilograms, on average, over the Tigers
Occasionally this aerial and territorial concentration allows teams with high ground pressure to capitalize inside 50, as they are only medium to prevent gatherings of balls on the ground in defense
When a team is leading a booty heavy defense, with fewer interception marks, they leave the door ajar for the sides to create scoring opportunities As the Tigers have moved away from the ball to the ground inside 50 in recent years, it may present a real path to goal for the Tigers.
The old adage in football is that you have to lose a grand final before you can win one In recent years it has taken a bit of trouble, with the Bulldogs and then Richmond crashing with little chance of failure before
For those with a setback, there is always hope and things you can learn from The Cats remember a loss to the Tigers, not just 12 months ago in the preliminary final , but also a difficult defeat five games ago On paper, the Cats competed well enough to win – and if Tom Hawkins had converted in the fourth quarter to close within 10 points, they might have been a shot.
Eventually, the veteran talent will leave Kardinia Park and the Prime Minister’s window will close At least for that litter of cats
With the great Gary Ablett Jr in the lead for his last game and last-gen Cats prime minister-era stars like Selwood, Taylor and Hawkins closer to the end of their careers than their better start – and last – chance to win the Premiership Cup
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Australian Football League, Geelong Football Club, AFL Grand Final, Richmond Football Club, Brisbane Lions
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