YES!

NO Tom Lon­er­gan, NO sec­ond chances, NO one thought they could do it, but last night’s semi-fi­nal was NO prob­lem as the Cats stunned the Swans ... and the crit­ics

Geelong Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX OATES

GEE­LONG coach Chris Scott has re­fused to buy into his side’s pre­mier­ship chances af­ter re­viv­ing its sea­son with a thump­ing win over Syd­ney.

As the Cats gave their flag hopes a vi­tal shot in the arm with a 59-point win over a slug­gish Swans, Scott, who com­pleted per­haps his best coach­ing per­for­mance since win­ning the 2011 grand fi­nal, would not be drawn on its chances of press­ing deep in Septem­ber.

“I’m not go­ing to buy into any of that,” Scott said last night. “The same way that I don’t think we’re a bas­ket-case when we lose and we’re not su­per­stars when we win. That’s for the C-Graders.”

Scott said mid­field mae­stro Pa­trick Danger­field had ac­cepted the chal­lenge of start­ing deep in at­tack, boot­ing four goals to ig­nite the Cats.

“If we had have put to him that we wanted him to start for­ward, and he was des­per­ate to start in the mid­dle, I reckon he would’ve started in the mid­dle, but he was board and thought it could work,” Scott said. “So I would go to the fact that with every de­ci­sion we make, we have a very col­lab­o­ra­tive coach­ing team, but that one got good sup­port.”

Scott ad­mit­ted the move, cou­pled with Danger­field’s dom­i­nance, gave his side a ma­jor mo­rale boost.

“It’s ob­vi­ously pos­i­tive. If you could script it, that you’d have one of your best play­ers in the game putting the op­po­si­tion on the back foot … it got our guys be­liev­ing that when we got the ball for­ward, we were a pretty po­tent threat and it’s ob­vi­ously desta­bil­is­ing to the op­po­si­tion as well, but we’re just stat­ing the ob­vi­ous.”

Scott de­scribed the Cats’ mid­field, who smashed the Swans 156-131 in con­tested pos­ses­sions, as “col­lec­tively good”.

“We’ve had some bad nights against Syd­ney, in ac­tual fact it’s been a re­flec­tion of how good Syd­ney are,” he said.

“They’ve got All-Aus­tralians on every line, but they’ve got them through the mid­dle. It’s not one or two of their mids, it’s col­lec­tively, and they’re big and strong and use the ball re­ally well.

“So if you’d told me we’d be plus 25 con­tested pos­ses­sions against Syd­ney, I would’ve thought it would give us a good chance to win the game.”

Gee­long’s win was even more re­mark­able, given Tom Lon­er­gan was a late with­drawal with food poi­son­ing.

Scott re­vealed he only learned of Lon­er­gan’s ill­ness early yes­ter­day.

“I hate it when our doc­tor’s name comes up on my phone,” he said. “I al­ways an­swer it the same way … with a bit of trep­i­da­tion. It was mid-morn­ing, maybe a bit ear­lier than that. His wife was sick and I’m not ac­tu­ally sure what it was, but he wasn’t good enough to play.

“There were a few in­ter­ven­tions through the day that made him feel bet­ter and good enough that he should get up and see how he was in the warm-up but it didn’t get to that stage, he went down­hill again.”

Scott said de­fender Tom Stew­art was bat­tling from ham­string tight­ness but “it was very pre­cau­tion­ary”.

Chris Scott last night.

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