Lily Mithen tackles Nina Morrison during the match between Geelong and Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium in round five, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG senses it will fall into a trap if they try to replicate how North Melbourne turned the finals series on its head.

The Cats will start underdogs in their semi-final against reigning premier Melbourne on Sunday, who is smarting after the Kangaroos mauled them in last week's qualifying final.

North unleashed a 104-tackle master class on Melbourne, who was restricted to the second-lowest score in their AFLW history.

While Cats coach Dan Lowther has noted with interest how North dismantled Melbourne, he said they must play to their strengths if they are to inflict another upset loss on the Demons.

"One hundred and four tackles in a game is pretty unique. Whether we can sustain that type of pressure over four quarters would be a huge question mark," Lowther said.

"We don't want to be going into a game where we turn into rugby. For us to get trapped into playing a game where it's just tackle pressure and force the ball from one part of the ground to close the goal, I just don't think it's sustainable.

"They're too good for that. We want to dictate how the game is played."

Georgie Prespakis handballs during Geelong's clash against Melbourne in round five, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

It's a massive game for Melbourne, who badly needs a win for the club as a whole.

The Demons' men's team crashed out of the finals in straight sets for the second-successive season and have endured weeks of added scrutiny because of off-field dramas.

Lowther is well aware his Cats, who lost to Melbourne by 49 points early this season, will face a skilled team breathing fire.

"They've come out and said that they had a bit of sickness come through the camp, which is understandable when you've got only a small list to choose from, and how that can impact the group and their performance," he said.

"Last week, they were whacked by a team that was driven to beat them for the first time in a long period.

"I expect them to be flying this week."


But the Cats were most impressive as well last Sunday, smashing Essendon early in their elimination final.

The 18-point margin flattered the Bombers, who kicked several late goals.

The loss of key forward Chloe Scheer is a big blow to Geelong, but Lowther said the Cats can beat Melbourne by playing to their own strengths.

"Everyone's fully aware of how strong Melbourne are. But for us, we're also focusing a lot on what we're strong at too," he said.

"We need to make sure that we make Melbourne think about us as much as we're thinking about them."

Kate Darby's return from suspension will be a significant boost for Geelong, while Gabbi Featherstone was also included.

The Demons recalled Eliza West after she was dropped for the first time in her AFLW career last week.