Lonergan still on for final fling
THERE was no way Tom Lonergan’s fellow Geelong defenders were going to have his AFL career end because of a dodgy sausage roll.
The Cats backline spoke before Friday night’s semi-final win over Sydney about giving Lonergan another chance.
Lonergan and fellow defender Andrew Mackie have confirmed they will retire at the end of this season.
Lonergan came down with food poisoning on Friday.
While the popular backman still drove to Melbourne to prove his fitness, he went downhill again and promptly went back home to watch the game on the couch.
“Certainly us as defenders, we spoke about that, we wanted to make sure that it wasn’t his last game the previous week,” Harry Taylor said.
“We wanted him to have another crack at it.
“We didn’t exactly need any extra motivation, there was a lot on the line, but just knowing that a good mate had had such a great career for us would potentially end the way it did was something that I was certainly spurred on by.”
Lonergan’s late withdrawal looked disastrous for the Cats, who were already at long odds for Friday night’s suddendeath semi.
He is their first-choice defender for Swans star Lance Franklin. A short conversation with coach Chris Scott informed Taylor he would play on the Coleman Medallist.
Taylor was told to go out and do it.
“That was about the length of the conversation,” he said.
“I just said, ‘No worries, I will be ready’.”
And ready he was – Taylor and the rest of the Cats’ defence were outstanding.
While Franklin clearly was not as his best, thanks to a corked thigh, he only kicked three behinds.