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Battle of champs gets Scott tick

Travis King - AFL Media  June 16, 2017 1:29 AM

Full post-match: Cats Watch Geelong's press conference after round 13's match against West Coast

GEELONG coach Chris Scott had no concerns with the running battle between champions Joel Selwood and Sam Mitchell during the Cats' 13-point defeat to West Coast on Thursday night.

The Cats skipper and ex-Hawks great Mitchell renewed their rivalry at Domain Stadium – albeit with Mitchell in different colours – and tangled during a first-quarter incident.

It emerged that Selwood was reported for striking – after some confusion with many believing Mitchell had gone into the umpires' book – and the entire incident will be scrutinised by the Match Review Panel. 

Scott "really fleetingly" saw the two midfield stars tangle in the opening term and didn't have an opinion on that particular incident. 

But he had no issues with Selwood and Mitchell's tit-for-tat throughout a physical clash.

"I love seeing the champions go at it, and those guys are champions. They relish the battle and true footy people relish watching it," Scott said post-match.

"So from a coaching perspective you've got to make sure that we give enough direction that the focus is on the right things. 

"I didn't see anything that concerned me as a coach with that sort of by-play."

The Cats were left licking their wounds after the bruising encounter, with the classy Nakia Cockatoo and tough nut Scott Selwood suffering minor hamstring injuries.

Scott refused to use the lack of rotations as an excuse, but believed it had some impact on the result.

"It makes it difficult, obviously – I know they had lost one (Jackson Nelson) as well – but when you lose one in the first minute it's not ideal, especially an important player to our forward structure (Cockatoo) given we had a couple out," he said.

Thursday's result means that for the seventh year in a row Geelong has lost after the mid-season bye.

The Cats were purring before this year's bye, beating finals contenders Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, but Scott didn't blame the break for interrupting his side's momentum.

"Not sure, don't really care to be honest. We were playing okay, but I don't think we were playing so well that we thought we could roll on and beat every team – especially West Coast in Perth," he said.

"The lack of momentum in the season is not the reason we lost the game."

Patrick Dangerfield was outstanding again for the Cats with 34 touches, eight clearances and a goal, but Scott was disappointed with the support for the Brownlow medallist in the first half as West Coast romped to a six-goal lead.

"I thought he was very, very good. We'd prefer to have a few more players that played closer to his level," he said.

"We had a lot of midfielders in particular that were down in the first half, he wasn't one of them.

"That's the positive thing around the night for us is those guys who were poor in the first half did hang in and find a way to get themselves back into the game and give us a chance and it looked like we were a reasonable chance late.

"But it was too little, too late unfortunately."