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Cats' AFLW finals run showcases midfield talent

3 minute read

Geelong star Nina Morrison was at her best in the upset semi-final win over Melbourne and she had plenty of company in their midfield.

NINA MORRISON. Picture: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

One week it's Georgie Prespakis as their fire-starter, the next it's Nina Morrison.

Meanwhile, Amy McDonald kicks two goals in an AFLW game for the first time to set the early tone.

The flexilbility of Geelong's star midfielders looms as a key issue for home side Brisbane ahead of Saturday night's preliminary final.

Lions coach Craig Starcevich was at Ikon Park on Sunday to watch the Cats first rattle reigning premiers Melbourne, then hang on grimly in a frantic last quarter to win the semi-final by five points.

After Prespakis torched Essendon in Geelong's elimination final win, she sacrificed her attacking game against the Demons for much of the game and it was Morrison's turn to run riot with a best-afield performance.

McDonald, meanwhile, kicked the opening two goals in quick succession on Sunday to immediately put Melbourne on the back foot.

That depth of talent will be critical as Geelong try to upset the Lions and reach their first AFLW grand final.

"We're ultra-flexible with our inside players. We know they can play outside as well as inside," said Geelong coach Dan Lowther.

"To combat opposition who want to try to get an advantage, we can't rely on one player to hold their end of the bargain.

"To have Amy do her thing, 'Nines' (Morrison) to step up with her strong contest work and transition, and Georgie to get free at the right time ... to have the flexibility is important."

Lowther also noted how Darcy Moloney, Julia Crocket-Grills and Renee Garing made important contributions through the midfield against Melbourne.

Morrison was off the ground at the end of the game because of sore calves, meaning teammates such as Moloney had to step up.

"The great thing about our midfield group all year is the depth of players through it," Morrison said.

"It might be one person's day one week and then another person's the next, but we just really gel together super-well and complement each other's strengths.

"Brisbane have a lot of quality ball-winners in there as well. We definitely respect them and we'll go to work on what they do well, but we have confidence in the mids we have."

Lowther said he was "proud but not surprised" that Morrison and Prespakis are Geelong's AFLW All-Australian squad nominees, given how much work they put into their games.

But the Cats are likely to be without key forward Chloe Scheer again for the Brisbane game, as she recovers from the hairline collarbone fracture sustained in the elimination final.

"She still looks proppy, with her arm in a sling. I dare say she's probably unlikely," Lowther said.