Geelong Chris Scott tries not to talk about Patrick Dangerfield too much, given the hype around his star AFL recruit.
Scott knew he had no choice after Saturday night’s midfield masterclass.
Dangerfield racked up a career-high 48 possessions – equalling the club record that has stood since Peter Featherby in 1981 – as Geelong beat North Melbourne by 31 points.
He had 10 centre clearances, two more than the whole North midfield combined, and kicked two goals.
With North’s midfield cruelled by injuries early in the match, Dangerfield and Cats captain Joel Selwood (38 disposals) ran riot.
Scott was asked if he could think of any better games than Dangerfield’s performance against North.
“I can’t think of any, from a midfielder,” Scott said.
“When you combine that with Selwood’s game, it was pretty strong.
“I’m pretty keen not to talk about those two … through the course of the year, I’ve tried to avoid it.
“I walked in here expected not to be able to avoid it – they were pretty strong.”
Scott added it was not so much Dangerfield’s numbers that impressed the Geelong coaches, but his ability to win contested possessions that stood out.
“We even commented a few times – some of the stuff in the contest,” he said.
“Seemingly the ball was just going to him one-on-one … and he just looked like winning it every single time.
“The numbers were outstanding, but his work and his power to get out of traffic is pretty special to watch.”
North coach Brad Scott said with the injuries to their midfielders, they simply ran out of options to combat Dangerfield.
“Clearly Dangerfield was running riot, but we didn’t have anyone to play on him,” he said.
“With the numbers the way they were, in terms of personnel, if we really robbed Peter to pay Paul, just to try to shut him down alone, then we were really going to struggle on the other side of the contest.”
Another highlight for the Cats was Daniel Menzel’s four goals, despite his ankle injury early in the game.
Menzel will need scans on the ankle and could well miss Saturday’s match against the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs.
Chris Scott admitted that given Menzel’s four knee reconstructions, he is uneasy whenever the player is injured.
“I don’t like it when I see him go down – at least three of his (knee) injuries were pretty innocuous,” Scott said.