Dees, Cats primed for heavyweight rematch

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

They were able to pull off a miracle escape several weeks ago, but Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says the Demons can't afford to rely on lightning striking twice when they take on Geelong in Friday night's preliminary final at Optus Stadium.

The Cats looked set to post an easy win in round 23 when they opened up a 44-point lead against the Demons at the 19-minute mark of the third term.

But Melbourne launched a stunning comeback from that moment on, booting the final eight goals of the game to snatch a famous four-point win.

Demons ruckman Max Gawn proved the difference with a monumental final term and the after-the-siren winner.

The triumph secured Melbourne's first minor premiership since their most recent flag-winning year of 1964.

Although the Demons were able to reel in the huge deficit against Geelong, Goodwin doesn't want to see his team dig themselves another giant hole in the rematch.

"It was a three-minute patch in that game where they kicked five goals, so there were things we can control within that," Goodwin said.

"There were things that Geelong were very good at, but it's something we don't want to see happen again, because it's momentum in the game that can be really hard to arrest."

The Demons have recalled veteran Michael Hibberd to replace the injured Joel Smith (hamstring), while Geelong have promoted last week's substitute Zach Guthrie into the 22 in place of Brandan Parfitt (hamstring).

Melbourne had a bye last week after beating Brisbane by 33 points in the qualifying final.

But the Demons haven't been taking things easy, with the players involved in an intense match simulation session over the weekend.

"A bit of flesh-on-flesh is really important at this time of year for the competitive juices and we want to make sure that's a hallmark of how we play - a contested style of game that's strong defensively," Goodwin said.

"We need to train it. It's really important for our mindset and the ability to go out and execute."

Geelong lost last year's grand final to Richmond by 31 points, and they're desperate to earn another crack at a flag before the premiership window shuts on the ageing list.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting