Geelong stars Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield celebrate against Essendon in R16 on July 2, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

UNDEFEATED Geelong will regain captain Patrick Dangerfield and veteran Tom Hawkins for its blockbuster with Brisbane on Saturday night.

Hawkins was managed out of the side just an hour before the first bounce against North Melbourne on Sunday, while Dangerfield has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.


The duo are timely inclusions for the Cats, who are facing a tough month with top-eight sides the Lions, Carlton, Melbourne and Port Adelaide to come over the next four weeks.

The Cats are one of only two teams that remain undefeated after five rounds, joining Greater Western Sydney at the top of the table following their 75-point rout of the Kangaroos.


It's the first time Geelong has been 5-0 since 2017, when it made a preliminary final before losing to Adelaide in the penultimate week.

Cats coach Chris Scott confirmed post-game that Dangerfield and Hawkins would be available for next week's crunch clash at the Gabba.

"He's the ultimate team man," Scott said of Hawkins.

"We've flagged consistently that we will manage our list. 

"The good news is he was available to play this week and we think he'll be better next week for missing (against North). 

"The conversations aren't difficult because I think our players understand it."


Key forward Jeremy Cameron stood up in Hawkins' absence, kicking six goals in a best afield performance. 

Cameron wasn't just a handful in attack, with the premiership forward getting to work higher up the ground to cause headaches for North's depleted defence.

"He's a difficult match-up so we're always keen to explore how we can challenge the opposition with that," Scott said.

"Theres no question in my mind that he can play as a deep forward and be a handful for any team or any individual match-up, but we think he's able to complement the rest of our group by mixing it up a little bit (and playing up the ground)."


Despite the one-sided showing, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson felt his winless side was "on the right path".

"We had 30 clanger kicks to their 15 ... they (Geelong) probably turn into 5-7 goals just on their own and that's the difference between the sides," Clarkson said.

"Some of that comes with experience and composure. It's going to take a while for us to get there, but we feel like we're on the right path.

"We know where we're at as a footy side, our endeavour was strong and we tried hard but we were just outmuscled by a bigger group.

"Compared to the Geelong side, we're a bunch of pups really in both age and experience ... we've just got to keep persevering and giving them exposure."


North Melbourne has the chance to secure its first win of the season when it faces fellow winless side Hawthorn next Sunday at Marvel Stadium.