Cats relishing underdog status against Crows

ALL GEELONG players can do is put their "best foot forward" against competition pace-setters Adelaide in their preliminary final on Sunday.

The Cats just scraped into the finals in second place in Conference B in their first season in the AFLW, while Adelaide's three seasons of experience have been on show in their dominant run in Conference A.

Geelong midfielder Renee Garing knows her side have a big challenge ahead of them.

"I like to push myself, so to play against the best in the competition is exciting. You want to play your role and you know that's a little more challenging playing against some of the best midfielders in the competition," Garing told womens.afl.

"You can only put your best foot forward on the day and just try and play your role. They've got really good forwards and are really strong in the backline, so every girl out there is going to be trying to do their little bit against whatever opponent they line up on."

After losing to Greater Western Sydney last Friday, Geelong needed Collingwood to upset Brisbane on Sunday in order to make finals, and the Pies duly saluted. 

"My sister had a baby during the week, so I was in Melbourne watching with my family. I was checking social media with the girls and messaging with the ones who were at the club watching it in the players' lounge," Garing said.

"There were certainly some squeals and it was quite a moment in that last minute or so when we knew they (Collingwood) had the win.

"Once Brisbane got a bit of momentum in the second half, it was quite nerve-racking. My family told me this is what it's like for them watching me play, when they can't do anything about it and have no control."

The last time Geelong played Adelaide was round three, where the Crows comfortably triumphed by 29 points.

"It was our first trip away together, we had to learn how to travel and be as prepared as we could be. We felt like we did, but they executed better on the day, they proved their experience," Garing said.

"They used the space and ran a lot better than we did and found each other, whereas we had to work really hard to get our chances.

"But when we did, it was actually one of our highest-scoring games. So it was good to see when we had the momentum, we were able to take it, they were just able to do it for longer periods."

Coach Paul Hood said the team had improved since both sides last met, highlighted by a 27-point win over Brisbane.

"I'm pretty sure we consider ourselves as underdogs. You look at both teams' recent form at that's pretty obvious, but it's a new season, finals. What's happened before doesn't really matter," Hood said.

"The best team has to win the day on the day. We have to go out there and absolutely give it our best shot.

"We know we face a really strong opposition, but we think we can bring a great contest and take the game to them, put our best foot forward and hopefully win the game."

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