Chris Scott's response to record AFL drama as Geelong slump to ugly 30-year first

Records tumbled in the Top End as the Cats were burned by the red-hot Suns.

Geelong coach Chris Scott admits he's struggling to find positives for his side after Gold Coast inflicted a record-breaking defeating on the Cats in Darwin on Thursday night. Records tumbled in the Top End as the red-hot Suns made it six straight wins at Darwin's TIO Stadium with a high-scoring 26.8 (164) to 15.10 (100) thumping of the out-of-sorts Cats.

The 64-point thrashing was the Gold Coast's biggest ever victory over Geelong in the AFL and the 164 points they scored smashed the previous club record of 148 set against Greater Western Sydney in 2013. The brilliant win moves Damien Hardwick's Suns into sixth spot on the ladder after taking them to a 6-4 win-loss record, as Geelong's worrying slide continues.

Geelong coach Chris Scott is facing backlash over the Cats' heavy AFL defeat to Gold Coast in Darwin. Pic: Getty
Geelong coach Chris Scott is facing backlash over the Cats' heavy AFL defeat to Gold Coast in Darwin. Pic: Getty

Scott's men were the early competition frontrunners after winning their first seven games of the season but the wheels have fallen off over the last few weeks and they've now lost three straight. The record defeat to the Suns came after losses against Melbourne and Port Adelaide, and things don't get any easier for the Cats as they host a dangerous GWS side on Saturday week.

Geelong (7-3) still sit in second on the ladder, at least momentarily, but their coach admits the team will need to do plenty of soul-searching to lift themselves out of their current funk. "It's not as if we have a history of playing this poorly, consistently," Scott said after Thursday night's game. "So we always tend to look on the bright side and try to find the positives.

"But we're not playing well, we've got to try to galvanise the group and we've got a longer break leading into another good team in GWS. We can arrest things. I've got no doubt about that. You're always concerned but it's a balance between not glossing over it - and we're clearly not going to do that - but we're also not going to overreact."

Geelong were without Jeremy Cameron (concussion) and Patrick Dangerfield (hamstring) heading into the contest, while Sam De Koning (hamstring tightness) was a late withdrawal and was replaced by veteran Zach Tuohy. And Scott's decision to rest Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Rhys Stanley led to plenty of recriminations.

Speaking about the match on Fox Footy, AFL greats David King and Montagna suggested that by resting their stars, it was almost an admission of defeat by the Cats. King said he understood the need to manage the players for the back-end of the season but Montagna said some of the guys that did play seemed to lack any sort of hunger.

“Is it just a mulligan? It’s so uncharacteristically bad for the Cats that you just write it off," Montagna said. "They left five or six of their stars at home, some of their other senior players looked like they didn’t want to be there the way they played. Or is it some concerns and signs?”

Seen here, Gold Coast Suns celebrate their win over Geelong in Darwin in the AFL.
The Gold Coast Suns ran riot in a record win over Geelong in Darwin in the AFL. Pic: Getty

Kangaroos dual premiership great King said Geelong's midfield was the biggest concern and insists they have no spark when skipper Dangerfield is not in the side. “Without Dangerfield there, there’s no magic,” he said. “They’re workmanlike and they’re super honest. We love who they are as individuals and they’re good, average AFL players. But something needs to be addressed quickly in there.”

Scott admitted there was an issue but wasn't about to hit the panic button. "We certainly need to analyse it and we've known for a long, long time it's one of those things that when we win, we feel really good about it and when you lose, you go and analyse everything," Scott said. "(Sam) De Koning came out late with a tight hamstring as well, there's always a little bit more to it than just voluntarily leaving guys out that are in tip-top shape.


"But it's certainly something that we need to assess. It's probably in that category of we shouldn't just shake it off - we've got to think through how we build. Maybe there is an element of not quite having the cohesion that we'd like at the moment. But again, not something that we're gonna make snap decisions on or give opinions on right now." Cam Guthrie was substituted out in the third quarter and Scott said he too had been managed.

The Suns did the bulk of the damage in a scintillating second quarter where they booted six unanswered goals at one point to lay the platform for the massive win. Jack Lukosius starred with five majors and five goal assists and was well-supported by Bailey Humphrey (five goals), Ben King (four) and Sam Day (three), as the Suns ran riot to wrestle their way into the top eight.

with AAP