Cats trip `tough': top Roo

Byron Pickett  
Saturday, August 3

KANGAROOS hardman Byron Pickett rates the trip to Geelong up with a visit to Subiaco as one of the tougher away tasks this season.

The Cats' three-point loss to Adelaide last week was only their second failure from six matches at Skilled Stadium this season.

Today's match is a must-win game for the Kangaroos.

Their percentage is the only thing keeping them outside the top eight with five rounds left in the home and away season.

The Cats beat them earlier this season and, had they kicked straight last week against the Crows, would be going into this match on an eight-game winning streak.

``It's probably similar to going over to Perth and playing the Eagles or Dockers - I reckon it's pretty close to it,'' Pickett said.

``I think the home ground helps them, helps them a lot.

``They don't have to do much travelling.''

Another obvious factor in Geelong's favour this year has been the all-round form of its team.

Coach Denis Pagan asked his players this week to name the Cats' good players.

``You get 10 different answers . . . I suppose that's been their strength all year,'' Pagan said.

Geelong's home-ground advantage has been a revelation this season and helped the club gain respect from hard nuts like Pickett.

``They've got a good spread of good players this year. Cameron Ling is probably the main one, (Corey) Enright - not really high-profile players,'' he said.

``It's going to be pretty difficult to contain them, obviously because they've been in good form over the year.''

The Kangaroos regained Shannon Grant, who Pagan said would be an important boost for the midfield.

The coach had no problem with his onballers' work rate last week, but said they could have done with the extra option Grant provides.

The 'Roos will also badly need a strong start today, after the Western Bulldogs kicked eight goals to two in the first quarter last Sunday on the way to beating them by 34 points.

``They got the jump on us early. I think some of the boys were second to move at the start . . . we weren't ready for it,'' Pickett said.