Taylor, Hawkins pairing gets Cats excited

Geelong’s new forward pairing of Harry Taylor and Tom Hawkins has impressed team management in the AFL side’s first pre-season clash.

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The Cats were unlucky in their contest with Hawthorn at Launceston on Friday night, losing by four points in a result sealed with a post-siren goal.

But more important than the scoreline for the rebuilding Cats was a remarkable third-quarter comeback which included eight unanswered goals.

Assistant coach Matthew Knights acknowledged the efforts of a string of new faces in the Cats’ side, including Aaron Black – acquired from North Melbourne – who finished with four goals.

But it was the Taylor-and-Hawkins show that got him most excited. Taylor, a two-time All-Australian defender has been used up front sporadically throughout his career for the Cats but his chemistry with Hawkins has the Cats salivating at what the tandem could produce.

“The chemistry with Tom is going to take a bit of working but I thought they showed some signs tonight that they were able to make it work,” Knights said.

“There was one contest in the third quarter where Harry put on a massive contest in the air and spilt it and we got a scramble goal out of it.

“Those things don’t go on the stats sheet but he’s going to be able to provide a huge presence in the air and some of his forward pressure was nice.”

Injuries to Cameron Guthrie (lower leg) and Lachie Henderson (hip) during Friday’s game aren’t thought to be serious.

Geelong plans to release more new faces for its March 5 pre-season competition clash with the Crows in Adelaide.