The Cats will need their best to beat the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba Saturday in what will be courageous defender Tom Lonergan’s 200th game.
Lonergan is lucky to be alive – let alone playing his 200th – after losing a kidney in a game against Melbourne in 2006.
He suffered severe damage to the kidney in the now-infamous collision which occured when he backed into a marking contest.
Standout round 15 debutant Wylie Buzza was weary of Brisbane, despite them sitting last on the ladder.
“We don’t think Brisbane are pushovers,” he said.
Geelong has beaten Brisbane by an average of 10 goals in their last four encounters, but the Lions showed their potential in a sensational comeback win last weekend.
“As you saw on the weekend, they dominated Essendon in the last quarter and came from a good margin behind to get the win,“ Buzza said.
The 21-year-old starred in the Cat’s thrilling draw with the Giants and was one of three Geelong rookies to play in the match.
Buzza was hopeful of again winning selection for the clash with the Lions.
Because of the late call-up, none of his family were in the stands to see him kick two goals and lay a team-high seven tackles.
“Fingers crossed, I can get a game this weekend and all the family can come out,” he said.
He and his team-mates trained in warm conditions in south-east Queensland this week to acclimatise for the game, thanks to a fixture anomaly.
“We know we’re up here to perform and work hard and that’s what we did today,“ Buzza said. “When we train, we train with purpose.“
Buzza won praise from Cats star Harry Taylor after his two goals, the first a set shot from outside 50.
“That was amazing – that first goal,” Taylor told RSN on Monday morning.
“The smile on his face, it was just raw emotion and excitement.”
Taylor said Buzza had earned his place, replacing Daniel Menzel who sustained a last-minute knock to the knee.
“He’s actually played some really good footy in the VFL this year for us, working extremely hard now for a long period of time.”
Chris Scott joined Taylor in his praise following last Saturday’s game.
“Wylie’s going to get some attention because of his hair and because of his name,” Scott said.
“I hope he gets some attention for his straight goal kicking as well.”
Scott said the trip to Queensland was “no holiday” and that the Cats were training hard for Saturday’s encounter.
“All we do is transfer our normal Geelong program to the Gold Coast.”
Scott was proud of his undermanned side’s draw against the top-placed Giants, especially the three debutants Buzza, Sam Simpson and Zach Guthrie.
“If (the Giants) are not the team to beat, I’m not sure who is,” he said.
“I don’t think even two days ago those guys would have even considered they’d be making their debut.”
Scott had plenty of selection options for Saturday with captain Joel Selwood and brother Scott, Brandan Parfitt, Jackson Thurlow, Nakia Cockatoo and Daniel Menzel all set to return.

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