Chris Scott has seen plenty of very special performances from Joel Selwood in his five years as Geelong coach.
So he was hardly surprised when his captain was again clearly the best player on the field as Selwood celebrated becoming the youngest Cat ever to reach the 200-game milestone in Saturday night’s 32-point win over Sydney.
“I always find it hard to rank them,” said Scott.
“I saw a game at the SCG a couple of years ago which might have been the best game I have ever seen as a coach.
“He was unbelievable – so to beat that one is a big ask.
“Joel had a poor game last time against the Swans (a 43-point loss at ANZ Stadium in round seven) and I think that stung a little bit, he was keen to come out and do it against good opposition.
“The thing we love about the best players in the comp, they stand up against the best teams when it really matters.”
A game-high 20 of Selwood’s 35 possessions were contested in a match where the Cats finished with almost complete midfield dominance.
Steven Motlop, Josh Caddy and Cam Guthrie were also among Geelong’s best players, with Josh Kennedy playing what looked at times like a lone hand in the Swans’ engine room.
“I thought our midfield was smashed in the second half,” said Swans coach John Longmire.
“They kicked 7.6 from stoppages and we kicked four points.”
Tom Mitchell and Dan Hannebery were among several Swans who tried – and mostly failed – to quell Selwood’s influence.
The 14.11 (95) to 9.9 (63) victory lifted the Cats back into the top eight ahead of another huge clash next Saturday night against their great modern-day rivals Hawthorn.
They should be strengthened by the return of Steve Johnson, who earned the wrath of his coach by picking up a one-game suspension which ruled him out of the Sydney game.
After slipping out of the top four, the Swans need to regroup for a Friday night SCG date with Collingwood.
Longmire said it was too early to tell whether Lance Franklin would be fit to resume after a back complaint.
The clash with the Magpies will also be the first time Adam Goodes plays in front of his home fans since taking a week away from the sport, having been worn down by relentless booing from opposition fans which he believed was racially motivated.
Goodes received a respectful reception from the Cats supporters on his return at Simonds Stadium, although he was a largely peripheral performer in the loss.
“He didn’t play a very good game but I’m not going to single him out because he had plenty of mates,” said Longmire.
“We didn’t have many players play very good games.
“Our boys were really good last week and really poor tonight so we need to get some consistency with that.”