Geelong coach Chris Scott has been answering for the universally recognised howler of dropping Rhys Stanley just prior to last Friday night’s qualifying final defeat virtually since it was announced.
The decision had major implications amidst the ‘rain that never came’ as Brodie Grundy had a field day in the absence of a dedicated opponent in the ruck, but in moving on to West Coast in Friday night’s semi-final, Scott addressed several injury concerns and the potential to recall Stanley in a press conference Tuesday.
“It’s not as if we made the call (to withdraw Stanley late) early and we were absolutely committed to it,” Scott said.
“In reviewing it, with the ruck situation, we didn’t think that the numbers around the clearance necessarily supported that was the reason we lost the game.”
Opportunities in the air were starved, though, as Grundy ran riot with 47 hitouts to the combined 24 of Mark Blicavs (14) and Esava Ratugolea (10).
Scott hasn’t confirmed Stanley will be included again to face the likely duo of Nic Naitanui and Tom Hickey but included his name among the likes of midfielder Cam Guthrie, defender Lachie Henderson and veteran Scott Selwood as personnel in the mix to run out onto the MCG in a bid to avoid a straight-sets exit.
“The over-arching role for me to play in this situation is to absorb a bit of the criticism,” Scott said.
“If the criticism is being directed more towards me than the players then I think that’s our system working well.”