Coach ‘on edge’ as top spot looks firm

STRONG TACKLE: Esava Ratugolea takes down Sydney's Aliir Aliir at Kardinia Park last Friday night. Pictures: Marcel Berens/Sportsmedia

By Natalee Kerr

Chris Scott is “on edge” despite his Cats sitting two games clear on the top of the ladder.

The Geelong coach was acutely aware the situation could change quickly, he told this week’s media conference at Kardinia Park.

“If we slip for a little bit that gap can be snuffed out in a couple of weeks,” he said.

“The ladder position doesn’t really reflect our position within the competition.”

Scott said the club “certainly didn’t anticipate” its early dominance but the mid-season placing comfortably on top of the ladder did provide some “temporary relief”.

“It will help us with a bit of flexibility around the things we want to do, but it also has the potential that it might bring in a bit of complacency.

“We’re far from sitting back thinking we’ve got to just keep rolling along and everything will be fine.

“It’s just so naive for our players or coaches to be thinking we’re so much better than the best next team.”

Geelong arguably faces one of its toughest challenges so far this season, taking on Richmond in a MCG blockbuster this Friday night.

The Tigers went down to North Melbourne by 37-points last weekend, handing new Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw his first win.

Scott said he would avoid “underestimating” the 2017 premiers despite their surprise loss to North Melbourne.

“They’ve been the best team over the last three years,” he said.

“In a lot of ways what they did last week is not really that relevant when you compare it to what they will probably do this week.

“We suspect they’ll play a lot better and make it really hard for us.”

Tom Hawkins will be free to play against the Tigers after receiving a $3000 fine for his high hit on Sydney’s Jordan Dawson during the Cats 22-point victory last Saturday.

Hawkins finished as the leading goal-kicker for the match, with his four goals helping to secure the Cats seventh win in a row.

Superstar midfielder Patrick Dangerfield also starred in his return following a week off with an ankle injury, with 29 disposals and two goals.

Scott said giving Dangerfield the week off “did him the world of good“.

“Sometimes it’s not until you take a week off, recover that little bit better, that you realise just how sore you were,“ Scott said.

“Guys with the power and speed like Dangerfield, when they are feeling fresh and healthy their performance is that much better.”

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