AFL Grand Final 2020 | Geelong Cats claim underdog status ahead of grand final

Richmond were far too good for Geelong at Metricon Stadium in round 17 restricting the Cats to just one goal in the first three quarters with Scott saying the match gave them a solid reminder of the Tigers’ capabilities.

“I’ll be honest, there was a little bit of a sense that during the year that maybe these guys weren’t quite where they had been in previous years,” Scott said. “That game snuffed that out a little bit and the games subsequent to that.”

I’ll be honest, there was a little bit of a sense that during the year that maybe these guys weren’t quite where they had been in previous years … That game snuffed that out a little bit

“Round 17 showed us they are going to be hard to beat [and] hard to score against. Their system is second nature to them.”

As he heads into his second grand final Scott said the Cats would need to take more calculated risks than they had in the home and away game if they wanted to beat the Tigers.

“To beat them you need to be able to score,” Scott said.

“What they want you to do is open yourself up so much that in trying to score.”

Geelong remains unbeaten at the Gabba in 2020 while the Tigers preferred to play their home final at Metricon Stadium when they had the option of choosing where to play their semi-final.


Scott chuckled at the notion they might have some advantage over the Tigers at the Gabba but said if it helped build confidence within the group he was happy to play along.

“We’ll try to talk ourselves into it. If we’re relying on the ground to get over the Tigers, we’ll be in trouble,” Scott said.

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James Slipper says Wallabies have no choice but to embrace underdog tag

He has endured enough defeats at the hands of the All Blacks – 14 in his 96 Tests – to admit the Wallabies “do not have a leg to stand on” when it comes to results when it counts against the Kiwis.

“We probably deserve to be underdogs. We haven’t won it for so long. And deservedly so,” Slipper said from the team’s Christchurch base on Sunday.

“But one thing I can tell you, mate. We’re training hard to change that. It comes down to that first Test match. That will show us where we are.

“We’ve been training hard, we’ve been preparing well but at the end of the day, it comes down to results, doesn’t it.

“We don’t really have a leg to stand on, talking about results in the last 15 years. For us as a playing group, playing under a new coach, we’re good to go.”

Intrigue surrounds the naming of Rennie’s first team this week.

Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou are considered favourites to earn first crack at loose-head and tight-head prop respectively but they are certainly no certainties.

Alaalatoa and Tupou will have to beat Slipper, Scott Sio, Angus Bell, Pone Fa’amausili and Harry Johnson-Holmes to the punch.

Bell and Fa’amausili may be fresh blood but Slipper could not have spoken much more highly of the promising pair.


“One thing I’ll tell you about these young blokes – they’re full of confidence. And they back themselves,” Slipper said.

“As an old bloke, I’m just trying to keep up and hopefully make that team. As I said earlier, I’m just excited to see where Australian rugby goes from here.

“There are some really good, talented players coming through the system and there’s nothing like testing yourself at Test match level against the All Blacks in New Zealand for a Bledisloe. It’ll be fun times for whoever gets that jersey.”

Slipper may have no arguments about the Wallabies’ underdog tag ahead of this year’s tussle for the Bledisloe but, from what he has seen of the 16 potential debutants in the current squad, he hopes the underdog tag doesn’t last for too much longer.

“It’s been a pretty tough year for us. Well, the year 2020 has been disastrous, hasn’t it,” he said.

“We’ve been in isolation here in Christchurch for a while and we’ve been looked after by the Kiwis in such a good way.

“We’ve been able to bond as a team a bit differently.

“From a personal view, I reckon we’re on track. But I’ll always bring it back to the result. We need to win.”

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