Cats focus on path ahead

Cats focus on path ahead

GEELONG defender Tom Stewart is adamant the Cats’ past finals failures won’t be a driving factor as they chase an AFL premiership over the next fortnight.

The Cats stormed into their fourth preliminary final in five seasons with a comprehensive 68-point thumping of Collingwood, sending them to a showdown with Brisbane at the Gabba.

Despite reaching the penultimate week of the season so often, they have not played in a grand final since the 2011 flag.

Stewart echoed coach Chris Scott’s belief that this season is entirely separate to previous campaigns.

“The last few years are obviously disappointing but that’s why we front up every year and give ourselves the opportunity to go again,” Stewart said.

“There’s no more added desire because of those previous results.

“We’re just looking forward to playing in another prelim and giving ourselves another opportunity to play in a grand final.”

The Cats had lost 12 of their previous 16 finals matches going into the Collingwood clash in a record that attracted plenty of focus.

But Stewart said the external criticism means little to the players.

“I don’t think internally we needed that to sharpen us,” Stewart said.

“We were really disappointed with the way that we played over in Adelaide (against Port Adelaide in the qualifying final).

“But we knew that if we produced what we have all year we were going to be held in really good stead.”

Both Brisbane (10-0) and Geelong (4-0) are unbeaten at the Gabba this season ahead of Saturday night’s showdown.

Stewart said the Cats would take confidence out of their round-six win over the Lions and even more out of the complete team performance against Collingwood.

Importantly, Geelong took its chances in attack against the Magpies after a wasteful performance in front of goal cost them victory the previous week.

“To finish our work was really pleasing,” Stewart said.

“It’s a good step, but it’s only one step in the right direction and we’ve still got plenty of work to do.”

(C) AAP 2020