Geelong coach Chris Scott is adamant they were ready for St Kilda, despite another shock AFL loss.
The Saints’ win by three points in Saturday night’s enthralling clash at Etihad Stadium means the Cats lose top spot after just one week.
Scott was fuming after the match and admitted to bristling when asked if the Saints had ambushed them.
“No – we were ready, our preparation was good,” he said.
“We didn’t very play well early. Their pressure was very good.”
But Geelong have also lost to Collingwood and Carlton, and Scott is trying to work out why they keep going down to sides well outside the top four.
“It’s better to beat the top teams than the ones who might not be there in September,” he said.
“I’m not saying I’m happy with it, but you take what you can sometimes.”
After last week’s umpiring controversy involving his brother Brad at North Melbourne, Scott bit his lip when asked about a key incident in the frenetic last couple of minutes of the match.
Cats key forward Tom Hawkins was going for a mark near goal when he and his opponent tripped over each other, with no free kick paid.
“I can’t comment,” Scott said.
He was also asked about an incident in the third term involving Cats star Patrick Dangerfield, who caught Jarryn Geary with a glancing knee to the face when the Cats star was trying to shake off a tackle.
The match review panel will look at the incident.
“I can’t comment on that either,” Scott said.
The tight loss was unusual for the Cats, who built a reputation of finding ways to win tight matches.
“We’re a different team to the one we have been,” he said.
“We’re a different team – our record actually in these sorts of games this year has been poor and anything prior to that is irrelevant.”
Geelong fell five goals behind in the second term and Scott said St Kilda dominated around the ball.
He was also bemused with some lack of composure.
Late in the third quarter, Daniel Menzel had a simple shot on goal when he decided to try a “Joe The Goose” handball to Steven Motlop, who promptly hit the post from point-blank range.
“It just shows us that we have work to do,” Scott said of their basic errors.
Scott also noted it was a strange split round, with every game featuring a team, such as Geelong, who played an opponent coming off the bye.
But there was nothing surprising about Cats captain Joel Selwood, who rallied his team with an outstanding second half.
Selwood’s one-on-two heroics in a contest during the final quarter led directly to their last goal of the game.
“That sort of stuff is what we’ve come to expect from him,” Scott said.