The predator

WE DID IT: Last week's matchwinner Peter Riccardi was jumping for joy again on Saturday after the Cats' thrilling come-from-behind victory. Photo: GETTY IMAGES  
Monday, June 17

HISTORY has shown talking about finals in June is fraught with danger and Cats coach Mark Thompson wants nothing of it.

In one of Thompson's best wins in his 2-1/2 years at Geelong's helm, he dodged speculation of a finals berth after the come-from-behind two point win over Sydney.

``I'm not reading much into where we are at,'' Thompson said post-game.

``We have won six games, we probably have to win 12 to get into the finals and we have to play Essendon and Adelaide. We have some really tough games ahead.

``I will just take every win as we get them and hopefully have more.

``I think everyone would have hoped for a 6-6 result at this stage of the year.''

The Cats' third consecutive win sent them into the top eight, momentarily, with the remainder of the round to be played next week when Geelong rests.

But their two most recent wins have come over the 14th and 16th sides.

Geelong face winnable games against Richmond next round and West Coast in round 14 before a stretch of Collingwood, Essendon, Adelaide and the Kangaroos.

``We are going to continually have some good games and bad games.

``Tonight was on the back of two other wins and it was our third win in a row. To be able to do it next week is the real challenge to this side,'' he lauded.

The rewards of the Cats rebuilding policy came to fore on Saturday night with James Kelly and Jarad Rooke again performing beyond many expectations.

``It takes a long time (to rebuild) and we are nowhere near finished yet,'' Thompson said.

``Rebuilding is probably a four, five year process.

``We might be in our third year,'' he added.

Although quiet early, Kent Kingsley moved four goals clear of Barry Hall on the goalkicking ladder - surprising Thompson with his four goal contribution.

With just 39 games behind him, it appears Kingsley has forced a changing of the guard in Geelong's forward line with Ronnie Burns - the club's leading goalkicker for the past five years - plagued by mediocre form this season.

``Ronnie hasn't had a great year and I think the more option you've got the better,'' Thompson said.

One of those is Peter Riccardi who has kicked eight goals in the last two matches. In a best on ground performance, Riccardi again played off a half forward flank to his coach's obvious delight.

``He is giving us a lot this year,'' Thompson said.

``He (Riccardi) has had a big impact on our performances the last three weeks.''