Chris Scott addressed the media ahead of Saturday night’s preliminary final at the Gabba, and geelongcats.com.au lists the five key takeaways from his press conference.
Stanley good to go
The Cats’ number one ruckman has been a bit part of the side’s success this season but took a knock late in last weekend’s game against Collingwood. The coach cleared up any concerns about the big man’s health.
“It wasn’t even a scare. He came off after knocking his knee and then came back on the ground.
“He didn’t really require much treatment during the week [but] he did come off the track a little bit early Wednesday night, but he’s fine.”
The big talking point out of the Cats’ semi-final win last weekend was the explosive performance of Patrick Dangerfield up forward, and the talk has continued into the week. Scott was asked where he expected him to line up against the Lions.
“It’s a constant and evolving discussion and debate that we have amongst our people. The coaching group, the players and Patty himself.
“We’ve played him forward in the past. Going back a couple of years ago we played him forward for a whole final against Sydney, so it’s not as if we’ve been completely reticent to do it.
“The simple answer, and it might not be the one you’re after, but we just try and read the game. Have a plan going in, but stay on our toes and try and assess what’s best or what the game determines we need the most.”
Asked about the pressure that comes with playing in a preliminary final, Scott said the best way to handle it is to face it head on.
“My view, and our view collectively is that you have no choice but to embrace it.
“You’d have to be a fool not to be aware of the stakes and the repercussions and the disappointment that we’d all face if we don’t get the job done. But that comes with the territory when you get to this stage of the year.
“You can either embrace that pressure and savour it for all that it’s worth, because it is a privilege to be in this position and a lot of teams fight hard to even get this opportunity, so we’re honoured to have that right, but it comes with a bit of pressure and I think the best way to face up to that is head on.”
Mark O’Connor matched up with Charlie Cameron the last time the two sides met, but Scott says the Cats have a couple of options to throw at the electrifying Lion.
“He played on him last time so it’s nice to know we have that option up our sleeve, but we think we’ve got a few.
I was specific and careful with my language last week when I spoke about Jordan De Goey’s match up and I want to be careful again, because while we think we have some match ups that are appropriate for Charlie, no one in the competition should have supreme confidence that they can beat him because he’s such a good player.
“It’s one thing to be an appropriate match up, it’s another to actually get the job done. We think we’ve got a few of them, but if he gets, it’s the same for our forwards at the other end, if they get the ball on a platter, it’s going to be very hard to beat them.”
The Cats and the Lions will face off with perfect 2020 records at the Gabba ?? Match preview presented by @Deakin.— Geelong Cats (@GeelongCats) October 16, 2020
2020 has been a year like no other and that then continues into preliminary final week, with the Cats having not quite a dozen fans on hand to watch Friday morning’s captain’s run.
“We’ve had a policy this year of embracing the situation we find ourselves in. I don’t think it’s a normal lead-in to a preliminary final but the whole year has been like that.
“I’ve been a big believer all along that the team and the people that embrace the uncertainty and adjusts to the circumstances best will probably prevail. It’s really difficult to manufacture your build up, whether you be on the Gold Coast or in Melbourne, you’ve just got to roll with the punches and respond to the situation as best you can.
“We don’t have any complaints with our preparation or our build up but the low-key one here at Southport with 11 Geelong supporters and a Bulldogs journalist (Mark Stevens was the questioner) was fine.”