Davis to renew AFL rivalry with big Cat

Tom Hawkins’ strength is what sets him apart from many of the AFL’s key forwards but Phil Davis is just as worried about the behemoth’s bustle.

Hawkins returns from a two-game suspension on Saturday, when Geelong host Greater Western Sydney in the highlight of the final round of the regular season.

The winner of the clash between the Cats and Giants will join Adelaide in the top two.

The duel between Hawkins and Davis, which has been riveting viewing in recent years, will have a big influence on who secures a home qualifying final.

Davis can’t wait for the battle within a battle, admitting his opponent’s hulking 110kg frame makes him somewhat of a unique proposition.

“He’s as wide as they come. He’s a very large man,” Davis said.

“One thing that gets underestimated about Tom is his ability to lead back at the footy. He’s actually quite a good lead-up player and gets a lot of marks (because of it).

“So he’s a real double threat, obviously he’s a great contested mark.”

Hawkins’ temper has bubbled to the surface twice this year. The 29-year-old copped separate bans for jumper punches that caught Adelaide’s Matt Crouch and Sydney defender Dane Rampe high.

Hawkins was also suspended last year for a jumper punch to Davis.

“When you play fullback you’re always poking the bear in some way or another,” Davis said.

“There will be nothing specific done to try and fire him up but we’ll how we go.

“I do enjoy playing on the big dogs and trying to stop them. It’s a thrill … I’m a bit of a sicko like that.”

Davis, who will play his 100th game for the Giants and has co-captained the club since their debut season in 2012, is enjoying his best season ever.

“He’s had a terrific year. He’s probably had an All-Australian year in my opinion,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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