Scott stays positive but bemoans giving up easy goals

GEELONG coach Chris Scott has bemoaned his side giving away a number of easy goals as the Cats crumbled to a ferocious Fremantle at Simonds Stadium today.

The Cats went into the quarter time break with a 13-point lead, but for the last three quarters it was all Fremantle as they strangled the life out of Geelong.
While the margin never extended out to significant levels for either side, Scott said his side failed the make the most of its early chances and handed the Dockers some easy goals when the game was on the line.
“We were a little bit disappointed with the way the first quarter panned out, I agree that we were well on top,” Scott said.
“I wouldn’t go so far to say that they were lucky (to be within reach at quarter time). The game can be very different if you take your chances.
“We thought we were on top, the game was being played the way we wanted it to. As the game wore on they got control around the middle.
“Their big ruckmen in particular were able to get first hand on the ball.
“Even then it was a bit of an arm wrestle.
“The difference in the game on a global level was they (Fremantle) got some easy goals, some soft goals and they didn’t give us any.
“Even a couple of free kicks, that’s as soft as it gets … Giving them free kicks 30m out in front.”
Geelong had 12 inside-50s in the final quarter as it pushed to drag the margin back in, but could not find an avenue to goal.
Tom Hawkins and Taylor Hunt were late withdrawals from the Cats, while Corey Enright (knee) faces a race against time to be ready for a Friday night blockbuster against the winner of Port Adelaide and Collingwood.
“It’s tough and it’s been tough for a number of weeks because some days he (Tom Hawkins) is good,” Scott said.
“We cross our fingers and hope it’s going to be a good day game day. This week he wasn’t so good all week.
“So we were still hopeful Friday night but after Friday night it was probably looking unlikely (that Hawkins would play).
Enright was subbed off at half time for Paul Chapman.
“We will monitor it (Enright’s injury) closely, he is a crucial player for us.
“Ideally, hopefully, we have made a decision that means he is a chance for next week but I couldn’t speculate on the severity.
“As you know when they can’t play on its more than just a niggle.
“He’s not going to be out for eight, so he’s cleared of that sort of seriousness, but really any more than three is too serious for us.
“We will just have to wait and see.”
Scott said Geelong would take today’s loss on the chin and start preparing for its second blockbuster in as many weeks.
“I think we are a pretty positive club. The position we are in at the moment, we have earned the right to be in this position,” he said.
“We are two games out of a grand final. We will shorten our focus very much into this week.
“We are in a fantastic position. We could be in a slightly better position, but there is nothing we can do about it now.
“We still think our best football is good enough.
“We didn’t play well enough today, the opposition were good. We will bounce back really quickly, six day break, got some fantastic players available to pick from.
“We are confident we will put on a very good showing on Friday night.”

TAG SWITCH A CRUCIAL MOVE

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon put his hand up for getting a key match-up wrong in his AFL club’s most famous victory, but luckily he’ll be remembered for eventually getting it spectacularly right.
Lyon admitted his initial decision to send uber-tagger Ryan Crowley to Geelong’s Mathew Stokes in the first quarter of Saturday’s 15-point qualifying final win at Simonds Stadium was the wrong one.
But after Steve Johnson then sliced and diced his side in the first quarter, Lyon made the change.
And it made the difference – helping put the Dockers within one victory of their first ever AFL grand final.
“Probably after his 11th possession and second goal (in the first quarter),” Lyon said when asked when he knew he needed to make the change.
“I take the hit for that … we just thought Stokes had been getting on the outside and breaking the chain a lot, so we went that way.
“In hindsight, it was the wrong call. But to Ryan’s credit, to then go to a great player and do a pretty good job was important for the win today.”
Crowley’s shutdown of Johnson – who had 12 touches and two goals by quarter-time – allowed Fremantle’s midfield to wrestle back control of a game which looked set to follow the expected script.
Johnson managed just eight more possessions and zero impact in the other three terms, and Michael Barlow and Nat Fyfe were able to dominate the midfield for the Dockers.
Source: Geelong Advertiser (Ryan Reynolds) – With AAP