There’s a lot going right for the Cats in 2020, but one aspect of their game has flown serially under the radar.
Charlie Dixon was quiet on Friday, wasn’t he? So was Dan Butler on Monday.
They’re both in the top five of the Coleman Medal Standings, yet neither could muster a score against the Cats. In fact, Butler only had four disposals. Dixon was even quieter with three disposals and no contested marks.
This should come as no surprise to Geelong supporters, and it’s no isolated anomaly.
The Cats are 6-2 from their last eight games. In the six wins, all but one of their opponent's strike forwards have been limited to one goal or less.
North’s leading goalkicker Cam Zurhaar failed to impact the scoreboard against Geelong.
Fremantle’s Matt Taberner – who’s flown under the radar but is level with Tom Papley, Charlie Dixon, and Dan Butler in the Coleman Medal Standings – only managed four disposals and a single goal against the Cats.
Matt Taberner struggled to find his feet against Geelong
Against Brisbane, Charlie Cameron could only tally six disposals and three scoring shots for one goal, two behinds. Interestingly, all three of Cameron’s scores came when Brisbane were on top and building to a 22 point lead, which would be their biggest of the game.
As Geelong took control and forced a 40 plus point turnaround, Cameron was taken out of the game and wouldn’t register another score.
Similarly against Gold Coast, Ben King wasn’t exactly shutdown with three goals. When you take a closer look, all three of his goals came consecutively in the second quarter. Gold Coast won that quarter 25-9 and turned what was a 20 point deficit into a lead soon after.
Geelong wound up 37 point victors with another 40 plus point turnaround in the second half, King was rendered useless during that time.
What’s even more fascinating is in the two losses Geelong have experienced in their past eight games, the opposition’s strike forward kicked a bag.
When they were defeated by West Coast, Josh J. Kennedy managed three contested marks and four goals.
In their loss to Collingwood two games earlier, Jordan De Goey was rampant tallying 17 disposals and five goals.
De Goey's five goal haul was season best
The Cats’ system, along with the gloss of Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins & co can deceive us into thinking they’re the sole pillars for Geelong’s success.
Whilst they certainly play a major role, the correlation shutting down strike forwards has had with success at Geelong is blinding.