Ablett winding the clock back in 2019

YABLETT! Gary Ablett Jr takes a hanger over David Mirra against Hawthorn on Monday. Picture: Michael Willson

By Natalee Kerr

Geelong coach Chris Scott has praised Gary Ablett’s start to the season following a best on ground performance during the Cat’s win against West Coast last Sunday.

Scott said Ablett has impressed with his different half-forward role this season.

“We’re full of admiration for him,” he said.

“There’s I guess some queries on the outside as to how he might accept his new role (but) so far, so good.”

The 34-year-old produced a career-high five goal assists, along with two goals and 28 disposals in the 58-point victory over the Eagles at Kardinia Park.

Geelong kept the reigning premiers to just 46 points and reached the 100-point barrier for the third time this season.

The dominant win saw the Cats end a tough six-game opening stretch that featured five of last year’s finalists to now sit a game clear on top of the ladder.

However star forward Tom Hawkins said the group are still trying to play “consistent footy”.

“I don’t think we’ve played a full four-quarter effort yet,” he said.

“We’ve had a really tough start to the year, but we’ll just keep grinding and get more consistent.

“The challenge in front of us is to keep backing it up.”

The Cats face the annual Country Festival game against Essendon this Sunday, a fundraiser to support drought-stricken farmers.

A win against Essendon will allow the Cats to maintain some breathing room atop the ladder.

Geelong has won the last seven out of ten games against Essendon, but the Bombers have claimed the past two encounters.

Essendon are on a 3-3 start to the season and are tenth on the ladder following a four-point loss to Collingwood on Anzac Day.

Bombers Coach John Worsfold said he remains full of “confidence” despite the loss to the Pies.

“It was disappointing but I’m also very proud of the way the boys played the game.”

“We took it right up to them; it was a good tough game of footy.”

Hawkins said the Cats are looking forward to meeting Essendon.

“They’re a good side, they’ve got some great players in their team,” he said.

“When they are up and going they are one of the hardest teams to stop.”

Essendon midfielder Zach Merrett, who finished with 30 disposals and five clearances last week labelled the Cats at a “really tough opposition”.

“They’ve been a good team for 15 to 20 years,” Merrett said.

“(It’s) another great chance to try and perform against a good team.”

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