RELIEVED Geelong coach Chris Scott believes the Cats' victory over the Swans on Sunday was his side's best performance for a month.
The league leaders have played some inconsistent football in recent times and headed into the SCG contest needing a win to maintain their four-point advantage at the top of the ladder.
It didn't look good for the Cats when the Swans opened up a 14-point advantage at quarter-time, but class shone through from that point on as Scott's charges regained their composure to kick away during the third term and go on and record their 14th victory of the season.
The Cats returned to playing some of their best footy against the Swans. Picture: AFL Photos
Scott said he went into the match expecting a tough contest and was thrilled with the resolve his players showed as they overcame an early deficit to register the gritty triumph.
"We were well aware that Sydney's form, particularly over the last four or five weeks, has been pretty solid," Scott said after the 27-point victory.
"We certainly didn't buy into the (fact that the) ladder position reflected what they could do and early in the game it probably went along the line of our expectations.
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"They were good, and they made us play a style of play we weren't happy with.
"But after quarter-time we rectified that, and I thought it was a better performance from us than we have displayed in the last month."
The Cats got big games from many of their midfield stars, with Brownlow fancy Tim Kelly and experienced duo Patrick Dangerfield and Mitch Duncan sharing 82 disposals between them.
Milestone man Tom Hawkins (five goals) also shone in his 250th appearance in the blue and white hoops and Scott issued a warning to the rest of the competition by declaring the key forward is on track to peak in September.
"He is in a great head space at the moment and really enjoying his footy which I think is important to play good footy," Scott noted.
"Physically he is in fantastic shape and I see no reason why he won't be playing his best footy at the end of the season."
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The Cats fly across the Nullarbor on Sunday evening and have a full week in Perth ahead of their round 20 clash against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Scott said he was still juggling with the mix of his best 22 but confirmed rebounding defender Zach Tuohy and former Swan Gary Rohan will both play against the Dockers after they were managed for the SCG clash.
"They will (both) play next week," he said.
"We have worked really hard to get a squad of 27 or 28 and we are happy to play all of them.
"If you look at the good teams historically, there are generally five or six that are unlucky not to get in the team and that is what we are working to."