‘It was bleeding obvious’: AFL greats slam Chris Scott decision

It’s called the premiership quarter for a reason.

Season after season flags are won a lost in the third quarter of grand finals, so to put it simply: What the hell was Chris Scott thinking by leaving his best player catching a cold up forward when the game was on the line?

Scott’s decision to station Patrick Dangerfield in attack while Richmond was dominating the midfield and turning a 15-point halftime deficit into a lead the Tigers would never lose in the third term was as critical as any in the Cats’ grand final defeat.

It wasn’t just puzzling to fans either – a host of former greats couldn’t believe their eyes as Danger stood as a spectator while his first, and potentially best, chance to win a premiership slipped away.

St Kilda grand final star Brendon Goddard was baffled. “It was quite bleeding obvious, he should’ve been in there,” he said.

“You wonder why they (Geelong) have waited so long to put Dangerfield around the middle,” added Cats great Jimmy Bartel.

Hawks premiership winner Brad Sewell felt like Scott was tying Dangerfield’s hands behind his back while Richmond coach Damien Hardwick put Dustin Martin in position to dominate and win his third Norm Smith Medal.

“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.”

Scott admitted he’d discussed moving Dangerfield into the midfield with the Cats star when he came to the bench midway through the third quarter.

He still didn’t do it.

“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.”

But even that was questionable.

Patrick Dangerfield flies for the ball but can’t hold the mark. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Chris Scott was a shattered man after the game. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Dangerfield showed the threat he poses when he dragged Trent Cotchin deep in the second quarter and, as they say in the NBA, put him in the weight room.

Cotchin panicked and gave away a free and Dangerfield kicked truly – the only one of three shots at goal he connected sweetly on.

But it was a completely different situation in the second half as Richmond sent Dylan Grimes to do the job.

As good as he is, Dangerfield just didn’t enjoy the same advantage while being picked up by one of the best defenders in the game and his impact even when he did have opportunities was negligible.

Scott wasn’t prepared to say he got it wrong post-match, describing the decision as “always a hard one”.

Dylan Grimes kept Dangerfield locked up. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“The result (of the game) always tends to skew your thinking more than it probably should,” he added.

Dangerfield played a straight bat when asked if he felt better suited to play forward or in the middle. “It’s whatever helps us win,” he said.

It was the second time in six weeks the 2016 Brownlow Medalist spent a large slab of time in attack against the Tigers. In round 17 he played alongside full forward Tom Hawkins as the Cats kicked just one goal in the first half of a 26-point defeat.

It left another Hawks premiership winner, Xavier Ellis, screaming for change.

I’ll tweet this until Dangerfield retires or I pass.

Fox talking the importance of Danger playing forward..

He went from BOG in the mid to getting 1 shit disposal in that Q forward before moving into the mid to get a FK late.

He ain’t a forwards sphincter!!

Gun MIDFIELDER

But the Cats must have seen something different because they went with a similar approach in the biggest game of the season.

It resulted in another defeat – this time by 31 points – and Dangerfield’s contribution being called out as he finished with a season-low 12 disposals.

I can see why Dangerfield avoided Grand Finals all this time

“Dangerfield, it just hasn’t worked for him tonight,” AFL legend Leigh Matthews said late in the game. “He has to do something really special to turn around the momentum of this game.”

But he wasn’t able to and was instead left saying things about Martin he wished others had been saying about him.

“He was incredible. He’s a champion of our game and he was dominant tonight. That’s what the great players do. They perform when the stakes are their highest,” Dangerfield said.

Being near the ball helps.

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