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Richmond gives Geelong a wake-up call with 59-point belting

    by: Scott Gullan
    From: Herald Sun
    March 11, 2012

ON one hand, Chris Scott knew it was a practice match; on the other, he was stunned, disappointed and angry at getting thrashed by Richmond on Saturday afternoon.

The Geelong coach was hedging his bets after the surprising below-par performance, which saw the reigning premier touched up by a Dustin Martin-inspired Tigers outfit to the tune of 59 points.

After winning 29 straight matches at home, the Cats have lost two in a row and Scott wasn't mincing his words.

"It is hard to assess, but we're not happy," he said.

"We didn't come just to get a bit of match practice and not worry about the result. We expected to play better, the opposition were very good.

"We were poor, they were good.

"I would hate any of our players or coaching staff to think that it just doesn't matter because we wanted to play well and we played poorly, so that's a concern.

"You do need to be careful not to read too much into it, I'm not standing here devastated, but the competitor in me and the boys should be a little bit stunned because we want to play better than that."

It must be said Geelong was without nine premiership players yesterday, including captain Joel Selwood and Norm Smith medallist Jimmy Bartel, while the Tigers had only Brett Deledio out of their best 22.

But there were still some big names running around for the first time this pre-season, including Matthew Scarlett, Paul Chapman, Steve Johnson, Joel Corey and James Kelly.

"We had eight or 10 guys who were playing their first game for the season and I thought most of them played that way, like they haven't played any competitive footy," Scott said.

"We had a big group of players who needed to play well to force their way into the team for early rounds. I thought some of them were OK and some of them were average.

"The game meant different things to different people, and our experienced guys, we do cut them a bit of slack, but not too much because we don't want to be out there in competitive games of footy looking disinterested."

The Cats did not kick a goal until midway through the second quarter and were 70 points down early in the last with the Tigers dominating the possession count 361-232.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick immediately tried to play down the expected excitement among the Tiger faithful after the game, given the list of names missing from the Cats' line-up.

"Let's not get too carried away," Hardwick said.

"I thought our guys were pretty good, they were solid over four quarters. Overall, the stuff we are looking to implement actually came out today, which was really pleasing.

"The thing about it is you look at Geelong and they've got Bartel, Selwood, they've got all those players to come back ... so we're certainly under no illusions about how good they are."

Martin started on fire with 12 touches in the opening term and he finished with 23, including a nine-point super goal at the start of the third quarter. Spearhead Jack Riewoldt kicked four goals.


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