Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield has admitted to being motivated by the hype surrounding Brisbane’s Lachie Neale after turning in a vintage performance in his side’s win.
Down by 22 points midway through the second quarter, Geelong’s experienced trio of Dangerfield, skipper Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett inspired a spectacular turnaround which saw the Lions concede the next nine goals of the contest.
Following the impressive 11. 7. (73) to 6. 10. (46) win at the SCG, Dangerfield’s answer was emphatic when asked whether he was inspired coming up against Neale, the consensus Brownlow favourite so far this season.
“You love playing against the in-form players and the best players in the competition,” he told Seven.
“That’s why I love coming up against the Nat Fyfes of the world, the Dustin Martins, Lachie Neales, they’re the best players in the game. Who better to challenge yourself against individually and collectively?
“It’s special and every team has great players and it’s a great challenge.”
The 2016 Brownlow Medallist tallied a season-high 26 disposals and seven marks, and the Cats needed every one of them after losing star midfielder Mitch Duncan and youngster Quinton Narkle in the first quarter.
Dangerfield also admitted that added motivation for the veteran Cats side came due to the widespread nature of layoffs in the AFL industry due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We really appreciate all the people that don’t have jobs in the industry at the moment that normally do,” he said.
“So our role is to play and as a club, play the best that we possibly can to put on a show every week.
“Our duty is to play and we’re doing it for our staff at the moment who aren’t able to work, we really feel for them and the best we can do at the moment is to control what we can control and that’s to put on a good Cats performance.”
Following the win, Geelong coach Chris Scott revealed that the hamstring injuries to Duncan and Narkle were both “minor” with the pair to travel to the WA hub with the team next week.
“I don’t know whether it’s a positive or not, but they were both issues where they were pushed or really stretching,” he said in his post-game press conference.
“It wasn’t just your hammy where they were running and it came out of nowhere. The initial feedback is that they were quite minor.
“Duncan was assessed for a long time and there was a real possibility that he could come back, so that was a good sign.
“Narkle was a bit more obvious that he couldn’t come back.”