Geelong Cats v GWS Giants Elimination Semifinal Matches, Results, Tips, Tickets, Draw, Odds, Tickets; AFL Finals; Jesse Hogan; Phil Davis
In the game:
The important thing was that every quarter they probably got us with a goal. A goal or two. And if that’s experience, the right thing, the right moment, trying to make up ground was difficult. We endured and were brave because we did not overturn. We keep fighting until the end. It is a learning curve. We are a young team tonight.
“I’m really proud that they had a chance against a really mature team doing the right thing at the right time, much more than we probably did tonight. We had the same in our 50s. We did a lot of things well, but we didn’t get our rewards when we advanced.
How much did you miss Hogan tonight? Someone who takes the really strong grades in dispute?
Yes, it has been very good in terms of that aspect of the game. It is not ideal but it is what it is. You have to deal with it. And having him down there as a big key target would certainly have posed another threat to Geelong’s defense, but we didn’t have that. We tried a few things in three quarters with Haynes there. When it looked like the game was finished and dusted, we put Cumming in there too. We will learn from it. You can’t just sit back and say, if we had player A, B or C, we would be dealing with injuries all year.
How bad was the injury and could you have played next week if you had won?
It’s touch and go. He was sore the day after last week’s game. We gave him every chance until a couple of hours ago before making that decision. It’s a tap and go. He recovered well from the injury throughout the year on one occasion, but missed four or five weeks on another. So that would have been interesting.
As a sneak peek at Hogan, how disturbing is it that you’ve had so many annoyances and setbacks this year?
You clearly want players out there more than you don’t. It is your first year. We are trying to find out how much you manage your training, your load, what you can do and what you cannot do. The good news is that he is leaving after a season in which he has played nine or 10 games, probably the most he has done in a while. We clearly want that in up to 15, 16 games, but we need to make sure we do their preseason well. He’s had setbacks with a couple of soft tissue injuries, but that’s the job of the high achievers and medical staff to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We will have that challenge when we resume training later this year.
Obviously it’s still raw now that the season is over. How will you remember this season?
Look, I think we play with a lot of little kids. A huge number of young children. A huge number of young children. We participated up to a dozen times this year in the games where we were extremely young and probably one of the youngest teams. So it’s dangerous to say that they told you in good shape because every year is different. But there is no doubt that the experience that many of those players have had, especially at the end of this year when we played in many fierce matches in which we had to win, makes players understand that if they want to compete on the pointed end, you have to appear more than not. And then, you know, very good end of the year, a bit of ups and downs for the middle of the year, but overall it’s really positive. We know we’ve been traveling for a while and that helps build relationships and we can’t wait to get back home to see our family and friends. But also next year when you play in front of your local audience. Yes, I mean, it’s hard to answer because an hour or 45 minutes ago we lost a final that would have led to a preliminary, so that’s disappointing.
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