Teague defends Coleman leader McKay's yips

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Carlton coach David Teague has defended Harry McKay's goal-kicking after an inaccurate day of what-ifs and costly misses at the SCG, where his club suffered a 22-point loss to Sydney.

Sunday loomed as an entertaining shootout between four-time Coleman medallist Lance Franklin and McKay, who leads the race for this season's goal-kicking award.

Both loomed as potential match-winning forwards throughout a clash played in intermittent drizzle.

Both finished with three goals.

McKay clutched a game-high four contested marks and looked ready to bust the contest open, regularly getting the better of opponent Tom McCartin.

But he registered five behinds, having hit the post and twice been trapped by desperate goal-saving tackles in front of a crowd of 29,882.

"He had one game early in the year and similar, everyone jumped up and down (about his goal-kicking) but since then he's been really, really accurate," Teague said.

"He got some good looks today and as a key forward, we just want him to keep getting those looks.

"I'll back him in."

McKay, who now has 38 goals from 11 games, continued to snap the ball from several set shots rather than opt for a traditional drop punt.

"He's got a really clear plan of what he does and where. Accuracy wise, his snaps have been very good," Teague said.

"He knows in every part of the ground, which kick he is going to do.

"As long as he commits to that kick, that's all I care about."

Teague praised former captain Marc Murphy, who entered the fray as a medical substitute in the second half, for his response to being dropped.

"Delivering the message is harder for someone I don't think has ever experienced it," he said.

"We felt that was the right play this week.

"Was he disappointed? Absolutely.

"The way he handled himself ... was very good."