AFL 2021 live updates: Cameron’s five goals help Cats down Power in wildly see-sawing clash

Tom Hawkins booted four goals for the Cats tonight and he spoke to Channel Seven after the game…

Q: Congratulations. That is a huge win, beating Port Adelaide at home.
A: Absolutely. Obviously the day has been slightly different with the build-up that we had, but, yeah,
absolutely. We talked about during the week the challenge that was in front of us in particular coming over here and trying to beat Port Adelaide on their home deck during a night game in particular again. They played the ground really well. Their supporter base is amazing. It’s always a great atmosphere over here, so really pleasing result for our footy club.

Q: Congratulations on the night. Just building that chemistry with Jeremy Cameron, tonight it just looked like you were all in sync, not just the two of you, but as a collective working well together. Gary Rohan hit the scoreboard as well. I thought defensively the pressure from all the forwards was right up there and able to be effective and so efficient when the ball was coming in, just being able to hit the scoreboard as the collective of all of you.
A: It’s a great point you make. We talked about during the week that just our formation, particularly ahead of the ball, has just been getting a little bit deep. Really focussed on trying to be a little bit higher. I thought our high forwards led that. They probably didn’t hit the scoreboard like some of the deeper players did, but they were very influential and really set us up ahead of the footy. So that was really pleasing. Bradley Close, Luke Dahlhaus, ‘Higgo’ [Shaun Higgins], Mitch Duncan played there and even Isaac Smith. I thought those guys were outstanding. They pulled Gary, ‘Jez’ [Cameron], Pat and myself up a bit, allowed us to have good space over the back too. We were really pleased with how we worked ahead of the ball tonight.

Q: You must be pleased to get the win after what you have described as a bit of an interesting build-up. What happens for the group now? What happens after the game?
A: It was certainly interesting, but it’s not foreign to any clubs, certainly in the last 18 months. It was our first experience of flying in and flying out. Obviously the quarantine at the Novotel for half our group in a couple of days leading into tonight purely because of the situation back home for us in Victoria. It was certainly different, but again, we talk about the opportunity and the challenge that’s in front of us. It was really exciting. We will stay here tonight. We’ve just been informed that there’s a fair bit of fog around, so I’m yet to tell my wife I won’t be home till lunchtime. We will fly out in the morning. It will give us a good opportunity to spend a bit more time together, which we’ll enjoy and get back home. We have a bit of a spell and then we’ve got a really tough opposition. We play the Bulldogs I think Friday or Saturday night back in Geelong. Again, another great challenge for us.

Q: You are not back in the cricket nets are you? Where are they putting up tonight, late change of plans?
A: I actually don’t know, but it was incredible scenes. It was obviously unique, but great to be able to spend six hours with your teammates the day before a game to see how they operate. We got some interesting cats. There was some interesting sleeping positions. I actually brought my swag mattress over and found a nice quiet dark spot. I’d love there to be a camera where we were today, you’d get some great footage. We’re in the Ibis tonight, so will have a doona. I am not sure how well prepared we are. There is a few blokes might be a bit light on jocks and a toothbrush. We will find a way.

Q: After the experience today, is there anyone if you had to do it all over again, would you say, “Listen, you’re better off staying at home, you are too big a distraction for everyone else”?
A: Not so much distraction. I love the way – we call him the big Emu, Jeremy Cameron, he’s a laugh. We were laughing at him and with him many times today. He’s been great for our group. Very interesting day. Looking forward to getting back to the Ibis – there you go, I think we’re at the Ibis tonight. Having a good sleep.

Q: Seems like spirits are high within the group and they’d have to be after the momentum you have at the moment. Do you feel like there is a real belief growing as well?
A: Look, I don’t think we’ve played our best footy. We played glimpses tonight. I thought we were outstanding at times under pressure too. Port Adelaide had the game on their terms and had strong momentum for periods. We were able to find a way just to stay with them and push back in front. We surge and played some really good football. It’s really clear to us, tonight included, but we’ve got Port, Bulldogs and then Brisbane up at the Gabba. They’re three pretty challenging tasks in front of us. We knocked the first one over, so we will rest up, reset and look to tackle the Bulldogs and then obviously Brisbane. That will show us where we’re at. We’ve still got a bit of improvement in us.


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