By Luke Voogt
Geelong forward Tom Hawkins will play his 200th against “the best in comp” when the Cats take on the Crows tonight (Friday).
“We feel like we’ve got a blueprint where if we’re playing at our best we can beat them,” Hawkins said Tuesday.
The game will likely be a high-scoring affair, with Adelaide leading the AFL on scoring with124 points a game and Geelong third with an average of 106.
“I think they’re the best forward line in the comp,” Hawkins said.
The Crows have multiple threats like captain Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker and the mercurial Eddy Betts.
But Geelong’s “unique” attack would respond, said Hawkins, with many midfielders able to rotate forward.
“Pat, Joel and Blitz have played deep forward as well.”
The Crows haven’t won at Simonds Stadium since 2003 and Geelong has won its last five games against Adelaide. Last time, Betts only kicked a goal.
But Cats coach Chris Scott was cautious about his team’s chances.
“They are a forward line where if one doesn’t get you, the other will,” Scott said on Wednesday.
“I could go on and on about the challenges that they present,” he said.
“When their midfield is on top, they give them pretty good delivery, so it’s multi-faceted.
“The last thing I want to do is sit here and say we’ve got the formula against Adelaide. I just don’t believe that’s the case.”
With 17 tackles in each of his two games this year, Scott Selwood could help nullify Adelaide midfield star Rory Sloane.
Both sides have come off two wins after form slumps, with Dangerfield kicking the winning goal in last Friday’s thriller against Port Adelaide.
Hawkins said it was great to play good football again after a “rough” three weeks.
It’s been a sporadic season for the big Cat, who leads the club goal tally despite a few poor performances.
Hawkins reflected on his career ahead of the big game.
“When I finish footy I’d like to be thought of as a good team-mate,” he said.
“It’s not just me who should be celebrating the 200 milestone, it’s the football club, it’s my friends, it’s my family, it’s my coaches at Finley footy club in under-14s when I first started.”
But Hawkins has shown individual brilliance many times in his career.
This reporter screamed like a lunatic in the third row of the MCG, when the ‘TomaHawk’ kicked from outside 50 to beat Hawthorn in 2012.
Earlier this season team-mates poked fun at the country boy’s love of flannelette shirts and choice of boots.
“One thing I’ve enjoyed about footy clubs is … the locker room and there’s a lot of s**t that gets spoken about in there,” Hawkins said.
“We all make mistakes on the fashion field and I don’t think that’s one of mine.”
Hawkins responded with a few jibes about former cat James Kelly’s obsession with three-quarter pants and Joel Selwood’s recent modelling efforts.
“This morning I checked on Instagram and he was doing some modelling and looking quite uncomfortable.”