Main content

The two new Cats taking Geelong to the top

Highlights: Geelong v Essendon The Cats and Bombers clash in round seven

GEELONG attacked last year's free agency period and targeted Luke Dahlhaus to add to their forward line pressure.

But few outside the club would have known they also had big plans to introduce a second small forward in their line-up, except this one came from within.

Gryan Miers spent all of last season in the Cats' VFL side, working at his craft and patiently developing at the lower level. It has come to fruition this year.

CATS KINGS OF COUNTRY Full match coverage and stats

Miers and Dahlhaus combined for a big impact against Essendon on Sunday, as the Cats cruised to a 32-point win at the MCG.

In a flat game, Miers provided some flashy moments with his zig-zagging run and sharp thinking.

He gathered a career-high 24 disposals and booted a goal, meaning he has been on the goal sheet in every game this season apart from his round one debut against Collingwood.

'HE'LL BE RIGHT' Chris Scott delivers good news on superstar's knee

Miers did not arrive at Geelong unfamiliar with the big sticks. He kicked 50 goals in his under-18 season for the Geelong Falcons, including a seven-goal bag in their Grand Final win at the end of 2017.

He also kicked 20 goals from 20 games last year in the VFL, where he harnessed his skills and sharpened up his ball use around the ground.

BOMBERS LACKING CLASS Worsfold says Dons have a long way to go

Where Miers provides more attacking flair, Dahlhaus' role can be a little less eye-catching but just as important.

The Cats hunted the hunter last year: they wanted Dahlhaus to be stationed in the forward 50 and apply pressure.

 

They secured Dahlhaus from the Western Bulldogs as an unrestricted free agent, as he committed to the Cats on a four-year deal worth around $2 million.

So far, it has been money well spent. Dahlhaus was busy again against the Bombers, collecting 21 disposals and a goal. But he also laid five tackles, and was a menace to Essendon defenders attempting to whisk the ball out of their back half.

In seven games, Dahlhaus has averaged more than five tackles a game, which is better than his average in the past two seasons at the Dogs.

It is also reaching the heights of his 113 tackles from 21 games he registered in 2016, when he played a key role in his former club's drought-breaking premiership.

Geelong entered this season as one of the competition's unknowns. The match-winning status of its midfield stars, particularly Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Tim Kelly, was undoubted.

But coach Chris Scott needed new faces who brought new things to the line-up. Miers and Dahlhaus have done that, refreshing a side and a becoming key factor in the Cats' place atop the ladder.

Tom Hawkins and Luke Dahlhaus celebrate a goal against the Bombers on Sunday. Pic: AFL Photos