Cats battle Hawks for Blicavs’ 150th

MILESTONE MAN: Cats defender Mark Blicavs will play his 150th game this weekend against Hawthorn and, inset, the tall defender in the Cats huddle against St Kilda. Pictures: Marcel Berens/Sport Media

By Natalee Kerr

After making his debut against Hawthorn in 2013, Cats defender Mark Blicavs will face the traditional rivals again this weekend, but this time for his 150th game.

“It’s pretty special,” Blicavs told the media this week.

“(I’m) very happy it’s in Melbourne so my family and friends can get down there.”

The two-time Geelong best and fairest has impressed down half-back during 2019, but said he also enjoyed revisiting his once-familiar ruck role this season.

“It was a bit of a blast to the past going back into the ruck, I haven’t done that for a couple of years,” he said.

Geelong is looking on track to claim its first premiership since 2011, sitting two games clear on top of the ladder with six rounds remaining in the home-and-away season.

Blicavs said he has enjoyed his “amazing” career to date starring alongside “champions of the game” including Joel Corey and Harry Taylor.

But the 28-year-old conceded that adding a premiership to his name would be “unbelievable”.

“That’s why I’m playing footy. I’ve learnt that over the years I’ve wanted that more and more each season,” he said.

“I’ve been to the prelim three times for three losses. It’s hard, it’s very very hard.”

Blicavs said the he was looking forward to a “tough” contest at the MCG against the in-form Hawks this Sunday.

“They’re really clicking at the moment. They’re very damaging,” he said.

“They’re always good opposition, doesn’t matter where we are on the ladder, the games are always there.”

The Hawks are coming off two wins in a row, while the Cats claimed a 27-point victory against St Kilda last Sunday.

The Saints held the lead heading into the main break, but Geelong managed to reclaim a 13-point buffer entering the final term.

Cats Coach Chris Scott said he was proud his side were able to get the win after the game was “on the line” at third-quarter time.

“Games are going to be a struggle, and if we’re good enough to get over the line we should appreciate that,” Scott said.

The Cats faced selection decisions ahead of this weekend’s match after Gary Ablett battled hip soreness during the win against St Kilda.

Ablett played through his evident pain to finish with 18 disposals and two late goals last weekend.

“I thought he was pretty important in the last quarter. He won some contests, even though he wasn’t 100 per cent healthy,” Scott told the media after the game.

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