Schwab wary of young Cats

Wednesday, May 8
Geelong Advertiser

HAWTHORN coach Peter Schwab has warned his team will have to be on their game when they take on Geelong on Saturday, despite a recent return to form.

With both clubs on three wins apiece and a top eight spot up for grabs, he said it was a critical match for both sides.

``Both clubs are square at the moment and I think which ever side wins will go into the top eight,'' he said.

``It's a big game. We're getting well into the season now and we don't want to be playing catch-up all year. We've been playing well the past two weeks and now we need to consolidate that form and break into the eight.''

Schwab said the Hawks' 68-point thumping of the Kangaroos on Saturday showed the team was back to its best, but he said his players could not afford to take the young Cats lightly.

``On the weekend we played as well as we have played since last year's finals and it's nice to play so well,'' he said.

``We were very encouraged by the way we played, it just shows what we're capable of on our day (and) hopefully we find that day a bit more often.

``I would have thought the way we played the other day, we'd be very competitive against just about anyone.

``But Geelong is a very intense team at the moment. Their influx of young players has changed the dynamics of the team and I know they lost to Brisbane on the weekend, but I thought they stuck at it and they were consistent in their application.

``Against Fremantle they were very good and we will have to be right on our game on Saturday.

``I've been very impressed with them and it's still hard to get a real handle on their young players, but they're a dangerous side.''

Adding to the Schwab's concerns was the injury worries the team is faced with, particularly the loss of ruckman Nathan Thompson, whose season has been stalled by a knee strain.

Schwab said veteran Shaun Rehn was the obvious replacement for Thompson after an impressive spell with the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL.

``To his credit he went back,'' Schwab said of Rehn.

``It's hard for a guy of his age and experience and achievements to go and play VFL football but he did it and he did it in the right manner so he gets another opportunity, so for our sake, and certainly for Shaun's sake, we hope he goes well.''

Defender Rayden Tallis (hip) is a chance to play against the Cats, as is former Geelong Falcon Luke Hodge who strained his achilles, but Joel Smith and Tony Woods (both hamstring) are likely to miss another week.