By Natalee Kerr
Geelong will be without dual Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett this weekend after he received his first suspension of his 331-game career.
The 35-year-old accepted a one-match ban for striking Gold Coast’s Anthony Miles behind the play during the Cats 27-point win against the Suns last Saturday.
Ablett has been no stranger to the Match Review Officer in recent weeks, escaping suspensions twice in the previous three rounds.
But Cats coach Chris Scott said “not for a second” did the club consider challenging the recent penalty.
“We didn’t have a leg to stand on this week,” Scott told this week’s media conference.
“This was a clear-cut case of a lack of discipline.”
Scott said he had a brief “mature-adult conversation” with Ablett following the incident.
“He knew just as well as I knew that it wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said.
“I’ve got complete confidence that he knows what he needs to do from here.”
Scott said the Cats veteran was now “taking a break” due to his unavailability this round.
“He was going to have probably at least a week off in addition to our mid-season bye at some stage and as it turns out this is it,” he said.
After banking their sixth win in a row last weekend, the Cats continue to remain a game clear at the top of the ladder.
Geelong will now host Sydney when they return to GMHBA Stadium this Saturday.
The Swans have lost their past three out of five games, coming off a most recent seven-point loss against Collingwood last weekend.
Despite the loss, the Swans enjoyed the return of star-forward Lance Franklin from injury who kicked two goals in his first game since round five.
Scott said Sydney’s “dangerous” forward line would provide a challenge for the group.
“They’ve got some very, very high-quality players. Franklin coming back only improves that,” he said.
“I’ve heard some commentary around the fact that they’re a new team. I don’t think they can point to a lack of class as an issue in their performance.”
As the season approaches the half-way point, the Cats are sitting on nine victories out of 10 matches.
But Scott insisted the team’s strong winning record would not be a deciding factor in resting players.
“It gives us a little bit more room than we would otherwise have but the win-loss ratio is not the most important factor in that decision making,” he said.
“We would like to think that we’d handle it the same way irrespective of the win-loss.”