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Scott adjusts for balance

Mitch Broughton  March 20, 2017 5:40 PM

AFL 2017 JLT Community Series - Hawthorn v Geelong

Cats' coach Chris Scott says adjustments have been made since the 2016 preliminary final

A self-confessed “defence-first” coach, Chris Scott admits he is searching for more balance in 2017.

Speaking on 1116 SEN on Monday afternoon, the 2011 premiership-winning coach spoke at length about the tactical side of the game and outlined how modern day sides have transitioned towards team-defence and more structured forms of attack.

“It [defence] is more of a system, rather than your personnel,” Scott said.

“If you go back 10 years, good defensive teams had a great backline … now it’s more total football, team defence and the system is quite crucial.”

“What’s evident now [too] is that if you want to win big games, you’re going to have to be able to score because the weight of numbers will eventually overpower you.”

“I think what’s been catching up and what’s been happening in the next four or five years is that the offence has become more organised. If you play a really chaotic, disorganised style of offence that just depends on individual talent, the defensive system will probably get on top.”

The Cats were ranked the second-best defensive side in the competition through 2016, but found themselves seven goals down to Sydney at quarter time of their preliminary final.

Forced to play catch up and go all out attack, the ball entered the Geelong forward line some 72 times for the match. It made little impact to the 37-point defeat – a result which Scott knows necessitates an adjustment.

“Given a choice between taking a risk to attack and open yourself up, as opposed to being little more solid in defence, we’re the latter,” Scott affirmed.

“[But] the philosophy is balance first. And then where there is a 50-50, we’ve probably got a defensive bias but we definitely need to adjust some things.”

“Even if you did want to focus on the prelim final – which clearly we did for a time but have moved past a fair while ago – we pumped the ball inside 50 a lot.”

“Inside 50’s is obviously a key offensive measure but the quality clearly wasn’t there. We probably panicked and pumped it in there too quickly.”

“We’ve put a lot of work in over the last four or five months to address those things and others.”