K rock Football

Forward pressure a key: Ablett

Gary Ablett in action for Geelong during the Round 12 win over Richmond. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GARY Ablett says making Richmond’s defenders accountable will go a long way to Geelong causing an upset in Friday night’s preliminary final.

The Tigers enter the MCG clash off the back of 10 consecutive wins, including a 47-point victory over Brisbane in the qualifying final where they won the rebound 50 count 55-36.

“They’re very good at getting numbers back, and that’s where they start their attack,” Ablett said.

“So that’s going to be a really big focus of ours as a forward line, just making sure we’re not sucked up (the ground) as forwards.

“They’ve got some very smart players in their backline, that if (Geelong) players run into silly positions, they’ll just sag off and help each out.

“That’s going to be a big part of it; winning the contested ball and trying to starve Richmond off the ball as well.

“If we chip it around and control the momentum of the game, that’s going to go a long way (to winning).”

For Ablett, who won his first final since 2010 with the 20-point victory over West Coast, it’s also nine years since he last appeared in a preliminary final.

The 35-year-old says the long time between drinks has crossed his mind.

“Absolutely it has. That’s why I came back to Geelong, to ultimately win a grand final and get back to playing finals footy,” he said.

“I’m super excited. For us, it’s just focusing on what we need to do this week.

“We need to make sure we have a really good week on the track, and that we’re up and about come Friday night because Richmond are a good team.”

While Geelong will enter the clash with the Tigers as the underdog, Ablett says there is still plenty of pressure on the Cats.

“You come into the finals you expect to win,” he said.

“We had a fantastic season, we ended up on top of the ladder, and didn’t get the result we would have liked against Collingwood.

“But, we’re a really great group with a lot of belief. And we believed that we could bounce back, and we did, and that’s fantastic.

“But, we move on from that, and we look forward to Friday night.

“It’s going to be a big match, they are the in-form team in the competition, and we know, again, if we can play our brand of football for four quarters, we’re a big chance of winning the game.”

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