Geelong coach Chris Scott has lambasted his Cats for a “disgraceful” tackling performance in their 17-point loss to Essendon at the MCG.
The Bombers led the tackle count 52-13 at the long break of Saturday night’s match at the MCG and by the final siren the figure was a lopsided 81-39 in Essendon’s favour.
“It was, for the third week in a row, a really, really poor performance,” Scott said after the 17.8 (110) to 13.15 (93) loss.
“We’ve got to stop talking about it being uncharacteristic because it is what we are right at the moment
“A lot of the numbers that are generally important in a game of footy are really not too bad – such as contested possessions, overall scoring shots.
“But the execution with the ball, and goalkicking is the best example of that, is very poor in our game at the moment.
“Our ball handling, our fumbling, inviting the opposition pressure which helped their tackle count tonight, is a big problem in our game.
“And then on the other side, which is even more important, the way the opposition is able to use the ball and they were cleaner with the ball, which makes it harder to tackle.
“But 15 tackles in a half is just a disgraceful performance.”
After being 40 points adrift at three-quarter time, the Cats got the margin back to 10 with six of the first seven goals of the final quarter and could even have snatched an improbable win if not for some inaccuracy in the dying stages.
“We can focus on the positives and the numbers probably flatter us in a way,” said Scott.
“But late in the game we were on top, 10 points down and it looked like we could have stolen it which to an extent wouldn’t have reflected the way the rest of the game was played.”
With the renovation of Simonds Stadium finally complete, the Cats play their next three matches at their first-choice home ground, although all are against fellow top-four aspirants in the Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and Adelaide.
“I hope we don’t try to pretend that playing at home we fix all of our problems,” said Scott.
“We’d like to play 11 games there, we haven’t played there at all until round nine and I’m confident we play it pretty well.
“But once again I probably shouldn’t even say that because we need to concentrate on what we are now, not reflect on what we were four weeks ago and certainly not what we were years ago.”