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Dockers on the Geelong chopping block

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Dockers on the Geelong chopping block

Post by CJCorka on Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:08 am

While 11 wins on the trot would satisfy most AFL clubs, Geelong are aiming to get a whole lot more ruthless.

Despite the Cats' impressive average winning margin of 41 points in 2009, forward Shannon Byrnes believes the team has failed to land the killer punch on a consistent basis.

The best example of that was against West Coast in Perth two weeks ago, when Geelong led 31-0 only to allow the Eagles to close the gap to just three points in the third quarter.

The Cats tackle Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on Sunday and Byrnes warned opposition sides to expect a far more savage Geelong outfit in the second half of the season.

"In the last few rounds we let a few teams back into games, which we don't usually do, so that's something we will be looking at and addressing," Byrnes said.

"If you feel as though you've got the game won, it's a hard thing to do to try to keep playing as if the game's up for grabs.

"But that's what makes a good team great; they're not happy with a small lead, they like to build on that lead and make it a huge win instead of just getting over the line.

"It's definitely a challenge for a lot of us but it's something we are working on and hopefully it shows in the second half of the year.

"I suppose our starts have been really good so we can't be too unhappy with them, it's just that when we do get a few goals in front we can't afford to take the foot off the pedal.

"We have to try to ram home the advantage.

"That's going to be the important thing come the end of the year when teams are going to be coming at you for four quarters and not just one or two at a time."

Geelong has been bolstered by the return of Joel Corey, Max Rooke, Harry Taylor and David Johnson but there was no room for premiership players Mathew Stokes and David Wojcinski, both of who were omitted.

Fremantle welcome back key position players Luke McPharlin and Antoni Grover.

Only Matthew Pavlich prevented Fremantle from defeating Geelong in Perth last year and Byrnes described the Dockers as a "dangerous" opponent.

"It's just that you're not sure which Fremantle is going to show up," he said.

"If they are playing at their best they're as capable as any side. It's certainly no game to be taken lightly, especially on their home turf."

Byrnes, who has kicked eight goals and averaged 24 possessions in his past three outings, felt he was in career-best touch.

The 25-year-old has notched 62 games since his debut in 2004 but said the pain of being left out of the team in last year's finals series had made him hungrier.

"It was one of the hardest things to sit out and watch the boys play finals," he said.

"I knew I had to do something to get my name back up there so I came back a bit earlier (from holidays) and had a big pre-season."
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