Cats concerns over Dangerfield ban, Hawkins injury

Shayne Hope and Roger Vaughan |

Geelong’s Tom Hawkins suffered an injury which compounded a bad night for the Cats.
Geelong’s Tom Hawkins suffered an injury which compounded a bad night for the Cats.

Patrick Dangerfield has been handed a one-match suspension for rough conduct, compounding Geelong’s woes after a horror AFL loss to Carlton.

Cats captain Dangerfield was charged over a tackle on Blues midfielder Sam Walsh during the first quarter of his side’s 21.12 (138) to 11.9 (75) belting at the MCG on Friday night.

Walsh’s head hit the ground in the tackle and while he played out the game, the AFL match review officer graded Dangerfield’s actions as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

“Pat didn’t sling him,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said of the Walsh incident post-match.

“He had hold of an arm and with that sort of momentum, you’re both going into the ground.”

Geelong are yet to confirm whether they will challenge Dangerfield’s ban, or the $2500 fine handed to Gryan Miers for striking Lachie Cowan.

Dangerfield is in danger of missing a crunch clash with Essendon in round 16.

Friday night was the 34-year-old’s first game since the Cats beat Carlton by 13 points in round eight, after he was sidelined by the latest in a series of hamstring problems.

Geelong’s heavy defeat came as veteran forward Tom Hawkins hobbled off with a foot injury during the third quarter.

At 35, the veteran spearhead is struggling for form and was well-held by Jacob Weitering before being forced off the field.

Hawkins has kicked only 15 goals in 12 games this season.

“I can’t say the news is good news, but I’m not saying the news is bad, either,” Scott said of Hawkins’ injury.

“It’s mid-foot – he has had a problem with his toe … it’s not the same injury.

“The experts we have don’t know, so I certainly don’t have anything more to add on that.”

Tom Hawkins.
Hawkins was left in pain during the hammering by the Blues. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Scott was asked whether it was related to the 2022 surgery that Hawkins needed on the same foot.

“I’d encourage you not to make that leap – it’s a bit like saying it’s the same leg, but foot or hamstring? To make that connection I think is a little premature,” he said.

“We’re concerned, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions, either.”

Geelong have lost six of their last seven games for an 8-6 record.

“We were just outplayed … we’ve understood for a little bit that we have a few holes and we have a few problems,” Scott said.

“They did everything well. That’s as good as I’ve seen a team play against us for a long time.

“I still think our best is pretty good. We just have some holes, where we feel as if we need to be a bit creative at the moment in how we go after filling those holes.

“We had a poor night against a good team, but we’re still optimistic about what we can do.”

Scott also praised the game of defender Tom Stewart, saying he was one of the Cats’ better players.

Stewart had to cope with a defensive forward tag from Alex Cincotta, who kicked two goals.

“The opposition will have to worry about Tom, every game he plays,” Scott said of the Geelong star.