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The Cats will have to fight hard to overcome the Hawks despite thrashing them by 86 points earlier in the season, according to Chris Scott.
The Cats coach remained wary of the Hawks based on their past six week’s form.
“Geelong Footy Club will never loose respect for Hawthorn and never disregard the challenge that they can pose, even when they’re not in their best form.”
Scott said the Cats still had room for improvement despite his team’s 85-point drubbing of Brisbane last Saturday night.
“We thought that some our skill execution was a little off.”
Geelong kicked 11 goals to two in the final quarter of its last game against Hawthorn, in what was the Cats’ biggest win over the Hawks since 1949.
After a form slump earlier in the year Hawthorn were fighting for finals contention following a draw against ladder leaders GWS.
The Cats drew against GWS the week before.
“Seems to be a season where it’s not really who you play it’s when you play them,” Scott said.
“Some of better players that probably weren’t in career-best form earlier in the year are starting to play really well.”
Useful forward Paul Puopolo could return from a groin injury after a two-week absence.
Luke Hodge’s 300th game will provide some extra motivation for the Hawks, after the Hawthorn star announced Monday he would retire at season’s end.
With Hawthorn’s disposal efficiency at an impressive 75.6 per cent, winning the ball would be a key, Scott said.
“If they control the ball they’re well and truly in the game.”
Scott would not reveal whether he would start Cats star defender Harry Taylor forward or back
“We think it’s pretty easy to make that move without it being detrimental to the team,” he said.
Geelong will again look to Patrick Dangerfield, who was brilliant in Geelong’s earlier clash with the Hawks, and recorded 38 disposals and three goals against Brisbane.
Scott praised Dangerfield’s professionalism during at the Gabba, given he had celebrated the birth of first son George that week.
Dangerfield was king of the kids when more than a thousand junior Cats supporters descended on Simonds Stadium on Monday afternoon for a training clinic.
Much improved midfielder Mitch Duncan stared in his 150th game, also gathering 38 possessions.
Duncan was wary of the Hawks, who he said were playing as if they had nothing to lose.
“They’re playing some really good footy.”
Scott Selwood, Daniel Menzel and George Horlin-Smith could be fit to play Saturday, causing a few selection dilemmas for the Cats coach.

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