Geelong’s bye curse? Not so quick

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There are traits, after which there are patterns that appear set in concrete.

The Kennett Curse between Hawthorn and Geelong was one of many latter.

Between 2009 and 2013, the Hawks misplaced 11 straight video games to the Cats – even when the Hawks had been favored, even in video games when Hawthorn appeared like they’d the 4 factors within the bag.

The truth that the matches had been at all times between two top-level groups, performed on the MCG, and contested greater than twice per season with loads of finals clashes made for a well-known rivalry.

However it’s not the one one. The Kangaroos held a profitable streak over Melbourne for 17 video games from 2006 till a Dees victory in Spherical Three of 2018.

“You simply knew that you simply had been in for a troublesome day on the workplace whenever you performed North Melbourne,” Melbourne legend Russell Robertson mentioned. “However over the previous few years it has grown to be this psychological block actually that, ‘Oh no, we have now to beat North Melbourne, we simply must’.”

And that fixation doubles again on itself, compounding the difficulty and making the problem tougher than it ought to have been.

Which brings up Geelong’s present hoodoo: 9 consecutive losses popping out of a mid-season bye.

If there was ever going to be a season after they might have forged that apart, 2019 was it.

The Cats hit of the bye 11-1, two video games away from the sector, the dominant crew within the competitors. They weren’t enjoying a picket spoon contender, however the pundits had been unanimous that Geelong ought to have the ability to deal with Port Adelaide comfortably.

As an alternative, they took their largest lead of the sport a minute in – 1-Zero on a Mitch Duncan minor – then gave up the following three targets, and by no means actually appeared like profitable for the remainder of the match.

In contrast to the 2 circumstances described above, Geelong have performed totally different groups all through that streak, suggesting that it’s obtained little to do with the opponent and every thing to do with the Geelong mindset surrounding the bye.

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However it seems that’s not the case once we take a look at the groups they’ve performed popping out of their week off.

Mindset has to do with the individuals, not the bodily membership. The individuals are led by their head coach, and Chris Scott has been the pinnacle coach for that whole streak. Let’s take a look at all of the video games following per week off that Geelong have performed since 2011, when he grew to become the second Scott teaching within the AFL.

Chris Scott Geelong Cats AFL 2017

(Picture by Scott Barbour/Getty Photographs)

2011, bye in Spherical 6
Gained at residence to North 127-61 in Spherical 7. This was Chris’ first sport towards Brad, by the best way – he’s presently Eight-5 towards his twin sibling.

2011, bye in Spherical 22
Misplaced to Sydney in Spherical 23 99-86 at residence. As a result of there have been 17 groups within the AFL this season – Gold Coast’s first 12 months – each crew had two byes for the primary time.

2011, bye after qualifying last win over Hawthorn
Gained prelim over West Coast and grand last over Collingwood.

2012, bye in Spherical 12
The everlasting mid-season byes start. Misplaced at Sydney 80-74 in Spherical 13.

2013, bye in Spherical 12
Brisbane beat Geelong on the Gabba 103-98 on Ash McGrath’s siren objective following a 52-point comeback late within the third.

Whereas they didn’t have a bye scenario in finals, they did lose to Hawthorn within the prelim, ending the Kennett Curse.

2014, bye in Spherical Eight
Misplaced to Fremantle 96-64 in Spherical 9 in Perth. Fremantle had been to the grand last and had been nonetheless fairly good.

2015, bye in Spherical 13
Spherical 14 with Adelaide was cancelled following loss of life of Adelaide coach Phil Walsh. In Spherical 15, North beat Geelong 120-79 at Docklands. An argument will be made to name this extenuating circumstances, to not point out a double bye earlier than they lastly performed the Kangaroos.

2016, bye in Spherical 15
Spherical 16, misplaced at residence to Sydney, 98-60. That is the third time in six years they’ve performed Sydney out of their bye.

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2016 was the primary 12 months with a bye for all eight groups following the house/away season. Following this bye, Geelong beat Hawthorn 85-83 within the qualifying last. Isaac Smith missed a kick after the siren.

After profitable that last, they’d one other bye, earlier than being overwhelmed by Sydney within the prelim 97-60.

2017, bye in Spherical 12
West Coast beat Geelong 83-70 in Perth in Spherical 13. Hardly an embarrassing loss.

After the post-season bye, Richmond beat Geelong 91-40. The Cats then gained their semi last, however misplaced their prelim to Adelaide.

2018, bye in Spherical 14
In Spherical 15, misplaced to the Bulldogs 103-101 at Etihad. Harry Taylor missed a kick after the siren.

After the post-season bye, Melbourne beat Geelong 75-46 within the elimination last in what was not an upset in anybody’s thoughts.

2019, bye in Spherical 13
In Spherical 14, Port Adelaide beat Geelong in Adelaide 67-56.

So, simply counting the 9 consecutive mid-season losses beginning with the second bye in 2011, Geelong misplaced to Sydney (a finalist that season), Sydney (premiers), Brisbane (a real upset however one of many ten best comebacks in footy historical past – 50 factors in a bit of over 1 / 4!), Fremantle (fourth), North Melbourne (finalist, after their Adelaide sport was cancelled), Sydney (minor premiers), West Coast (finalist), the Bulldogs (a real upset), and Port Adelaide (presently high eight) this season.

Perhaps you don’t anticipate to go Zero-9 with this schedule, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a killer line-up. Solely two of the eight earlier opponents weren’t finalists, and North Melbourne had been enjoying a model of the Cats coming off two byes.

As you get to the final couple of losses – possibly West Coast, definitely the Doggies and the Energy – you’ve reached the territory that Robertson alluded to for Melbourne’s lengthy shedding streak. It’s begun to tackle a lifetime of its personal, to turn into a second opponent on the oval to fight.

And what concerning the post-season byes? Scott has confronted 5 because the Geelong head coach, with these outcomes: prelim last win in 2011 over West Coast following week two bye; win by two over Hawthorn as soon as the lifeless week earlier than finals was put in for 2016; loss to Sydney within the prelim last after one other week two bye the identical season; loss to Richmond within the 2017 qualifying last; loss to Melbourne within the 2018 elimination last.

Clearly, each opponent was a finalist right here, and but Scott and the Cats are 2-Three, or 40 per cent. Apparently he’s Four-6, or 40 per cent, in his ten different finals video games as properly. Though the final three are consecutive losses, the final two had been roughly anticipated – definitely the 2018 loss was.

So, Geelong followers, take coronary heart – however ask the league to chop your boys a break subsequent season when scheduling. Perhaps the Cats might play the Suns, or the Blues, or the Saints for a change?

Talking of the Saints, AFL schedulers, whose vivid concept was it to make the 2 golf equipment that went to China must make a ridiculous highway journey instantly out of their required bye following that strenuous journey?

Port needed to fly throughout the Nullarbor to play Fremantle – the place they led after three and pale terribly, unable to even rating within the last time period – and St Kilda needed to journey as much as Townsville to play the Gold Coast, a crew on a nine-game shedding streak that also took the Saints to the road.

Assume laterally, AFL! Put yourselves within the footwear of the gamers and coaches whenever you’ve drawn up the schedule, and ask your self what aspect of every crew’s particular fixture will tick them off?

Then, are you able to repair that upfront? You already attempt to do that for five-day breaks and the lot – that is the following step.


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