Chris Scott has come under fire in the aftermath of Geelong’s loss in the AFL grand final, with many criticising his decision to move Patrick Dangerfield into the forward line.
Geelong were on fire in the early stages of Saturday night’s clash with Richmond, leading by as many as 22 points in the second quarter.
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Dangerfield was carving up in the midfield and the Cats led by 15 points at half-time.
However Scott made the staggering call to move Dangerfield into the forward line for the second half, where he had little impact.
Richmond came storming home and went on to win the premiership decider by a whopping 31 points, with Dangerfield’s move back into the middle coming too late for the Cats.
St Kilda champion Brendon Goddard was among those to question Scott’s decision.
“It was quite bleeding obvious, he should’ve been in there,” Goddard said.
Jimmy Bartel added: “You wonder why they have waited so long to put Dangerfield around the middle.”
Hawthorn premiership player Brad Sewell compared the way the Hawks utilised Dustin Marin, who kicked four goals and won his third Norm Smith medal, to the way the Cats used Dangerfield.
“I feel like Richmond use Dusty better than Geelong use Dangerfield,” Sewell said.
“Danger feels like he’s either forward or midfield and maybe doesn’t feel the swings in the game as well as Dusty does.”
Fellow Hawthorn premiership player Xavier Ellis said Dangerfield went from best on ground in the first half to non-existent in the second.
Scott discussed the decision to move Dangerfield forward in his post-match press conference.
“We decided to leave him ahead of the ball and back that we could get that contest and stoppage ascendancy back,” Scott said.
“(We thought) if we could give him a chance (in attack) that would be our best chance to score.”
Fans were also highly critical of Scott’s tactics.
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Scott said missed opportunities will “eat away” at his side for some time after they blew a 22-point lead.
The Cats kicked five consecutive goals after conceding the first two at the Gabba and took control of the contest during the second quarter.
Mitch Duncan, Tom Stewart and Cam Guthrie were all influential as they dominated midfield battle.
But Geelong failed to take full advantage in attack, kicking 3.3 in the second term including a horror miss by Gryan Miers from close range.
Martin kicked an important goal in the shadows of half-time to cut the margin back to 15 points and Richmond ran over the top of the Cats in the second half.
“They were always going to have periods where they were going to be on top,” Scott said.
“When you're playing the best team, you've got to take your chances and make the most of the momentum while you have it.
“The goal they got late ... it makes a huge difference, 15 points versus 30 points at half-time and the whole complexion of the game changes.
“That will eat away at us for a little while.”
Scott, who led Geelong to a premiership in his first year as coach in 2011, said he couldn't imagine being more disappointed with Saturday night's result.
“I thought the game was there and for decent parts of the game we outplayed them, but when it counted they were just too good for us,” he said.
“We're really aware of how difficult it is to get these chances and it's going to take a long time to get over - they always do.”
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