Hawkins, Motlop backed to lift by Cats

By his own admission, Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins was way below his best in last weekend’s big loss to Sydney.

The enigmatic Steve Motlop has hardly been setting the AFL world on fire in recent weeks either.

But the key attacking duo continue to enjoy the backing of Cats coach Chris Scott.

The raw numbers are not too bad for Hawkins, a dual premiership star who has led the Cats’ goalkicking in each of the past four seasons.

He has kicked 33 majors in 14 matches this year, but was well beaten by Heath Grundy in the 38-point loss to the Swans which saw Geelong tumble from second to sixth on the AFL ladder.

“I thought Tom spoke quite accurately about his position,” Scott said on Wednesday.

“The numbers are relatively good but his impact isn’t what he’d like it to be and hasn’t been for some time.

“A big part of it is the way we’re playing collectively – that needs to be better and our delivery needs to be better.

I think we can kick the ball to him a little bit more.

“He’s still a dominant player one-on-one, even when he’s not quite at his best.

And then there’s the part he’s got to play as well and we’d like him to be a little more involved in the game.”

The knock on Motlop is more about a perceived lack of intensity.

Having finished second to Mark Blicavs in the 2015 best and fairest award, Motlop has often been a peripheral figure in matches this year.

“The work he is doing with us during the week strongly suggests to us that he is really motivated to improve his game,” said Scott.

“He wants to be an elite player in the competition and we’re going to do everything we can to support him to get there.

“Now that support doesn’t involve blind faith.

“There will come a point in time where we say `Steve, the best thing for the team is for you not to be in it’.

“But we’re not at that point right at the moment.”

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