No bad blood between Cats and Dockers

Geelong coach Chris Scott is confident there is no bad blood between his players and Fremantle’s despite a string of reports and suspensions stemming from games between the clubs in recent years.

Eighteen weeks of suspensions have been issued from Fremantle and Geelong clashes since 2008, with the Cats having four players found guilty from the past three games against the Dockers.

Scott was an assistant at Fremantle before arriving at Geelong at the end of 2010, guiding the Cats to the premiership the following season.

He said the history between the two clubs had to be investigated. “We can’t stick our head in the sand,” Scott said. “Matty Scarlett put one on Hayden’s (Ballantyne) chin and then Steve Johnson punched him in the guts  It’s incumbent on us to ask the question. Is there something we don’t know about? But there’s no lingering effects. I don’t think anyone will be going out there thinking ‘we’ve got retribution to serve’. Do opposition players get annoyed by Hayden Ballantyne occasionally? Obviously. But other than two teams towards the top part of the ladder going at each other this week, I don’t think you need any more reason to approach the contest with some vigour.”

Scott said his players couldn’t afford to be undisciplined this week because Fremantle would be making it difficult enough to score.

The Cats hope to bounce back from their loss to Brisbane after leading by 52 points.

They will have to do so without Johnson, whose two-match ban for a high bump on Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley was upheld by the AFL Tribunal last night. He will also miss the round-15 clash with Hawthorn and have 79.04 demerit points after unsuccessfully arguing that the contact was unavoidable.

Scott said Geelong couldn’t be expected to play like the team which won three premierships in five years because that squad was different. “We accept responsibility for the performance, and by ‘we’ I mean all of us,” Scott said. “A few people will think that’s not the Geelong of the past, but we’re not the Geelong of t he past.We need to move on and be the Geelong of the right now.”

Scott said Geelong had several players in good form who could come into the team but they wouldn’t overreact to the loss. He warned that Fremantle’s hard-nosed and focused approach was the best way to succeed.

The Cats are the second highest scoring team this year while the Dockers have the meanest defence. “We’re a pretty good attacking team. I think we’ve got some options to score against teams that defend in a similar way to Freo,” Scott said. “Freo do it better than everyone else so it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Source: The West Australian