The Cats’ September question

The Cats haven’t won a qualifying or elimination final since 2016. But for the last two seasons, they’ve been able to bounce back in the semi-finals. Will they be able to do it again against GWS?

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson, Jake Niall and Caroline Wilson discuss the Cats’ finals efforts against high-intensity, high-pressure teams. Does their game style need to be addressed in the off-season? Or is their fundamental issue one of personnel?

There are other issues on the Cats’ plate at the moment, including ruck issues, the accountability of their forwards and missing Tom Stewart in defence. If the Cats go out in straight sets, there will be a feeling of the beginning of an end of an era at Geelong.

Meanwhile, the Giants had a great win over Sydney to advance to the semi-finals. But that was overshadowed by Toby Greene, who bumped into umpire Matt Stevic and has been sent to the tribunal. How important will the umpire’s evidence be? And should Greene’s tribunal history impact any punishment he receives?

Aaron Naughton will be key to a Bulldogs grand final run, if they can make one. Now they are set to come up against the Lions, who will be without Dan McStay. On the Lions’ side, the pressure is on Joe Daniher to perform in McStay’s absence. Their win over West Coast in round 23 probably masked their true form line going into finals. Can Harris Andrews rediscover his form?

The Demons and Port Adelaide are in the box seat to make the grand final. Melbourne boast impressive depth, too. Can the Demons put aside history and go all the way? Or is it better that they embrace it? Plus, why Port Adelaide have flown under the radar this season.

We also discuss the Bombers, whose drought of finals wins will stretch for another year after they lost to the Bulldogs. Their forward line was dysfunctional on the day, but they stuck with the Bulldogs for a half and it’s hard not to be bullish about them for the future.

Plus: Stuart Dew’s future, Ed Langdon’s comments about Ross Lyon and whether they will impact on Lyon’s chances at landing the Carlton job and much more.

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