That was a pretty memorable win, where does that one stack up for you?
I don’t know where it stacks. As a coach, you don’t really sit around rating them (the wins) but it was a great win. We came down here prepared for an arm wrestle and to go the distance, because that’s what you have to do down here, and I thought we fought and that’s become a part of our brand, we keep fighting.
After quarter time you really restricted them, did you change much at the break?
We just didn’t get some things right in that first quarter, mainly based around our contest and our contest method. We had players looking to receive the ball lateral rather than backwards which left us vulnerable when we didn’t quite get it right around the contest. I thought we got our contest method right for the rest of the game really and we were able to own the corridor which is really important against Geelong because they are looking to use the corridor more and go quicker, and it makes it really hard to defend their forward line when they do that. We were able to force them a lot wider as the game went on and gave our backs a chance.
It was a real feature, that defending the corridor, is that something you worked on for this game?
It’s become our brand and the way we defend the ground is really important to us as a team, it creates opportunities for us offensively and makes it really hard for the opposition to score when we get it right.
They challenged you over and over, how did you stave it off in the end?
I don’t think we should’ve been in that position. From the kick in, going short up the middle with three minutes to go is probably not the right play, and Meeky (Lloyd Meek) kicking it out on the full was clearly not what we wanted so we got a few things wrong. I think in most close games we’ve been involved in this year and the back end of last year, we’ve been able to stick to our method and really compete when the games on the line and that shone through.
What sort of impact can a win like this have on an emerging team?
It’s just more feedback on what we are doing right. We just need to keep coming back to what’s important week in, week out. I think at the end of the year last year there were too many ups and downs and we made it a strong focus to really anchor and recommit to what’s important week in and week out. It shows that our footy is in good order and now the next challenge is to move on off a six day break and make sure we get it right next week.
You’re now 6-1 and second on the ladder, do you feel like your best footy can compete?
Yes I do because we’re playing a really strong defensive, contested game and we are able to adapt I games but we haven’t done anything as a footy club yet – this year anyway. So we’ve got plenty of work ahead of us and this game has got a real knack of pulling you into line if you get too far ahead of yourself so we’ve got to stay in the moment and stay present and look forward to next week.
It must be encouraging that Lloyd Meek could come in and do the job.
He was really competitive around the ball. I thought Lobby (Rory Lobb) when he went into the ruck was really good for us, I thought Josh Treacy came in and gave us a really good strong contest. He’s not going to take a heap of marks because he’s a second-year, 19-year-old, but he gave us a predictable contest and that made it easier for our smalls to go to ground. So I’m really proud of those two because they stepped in and replaced two really important players. I thought we had another real even spread across our team today.
Blake Acres had one of his best games today.
We keep saying that about Blake all year. He’s been in really good form, he’s really matured and got to work in the pre-season. He’s really invested in the Club and in his role and understands what we want from him in his role and he is recommitting to that each week and getting better and better.
How did you manage to concede such a low score to Geelong?
We conceded 30 points in the first quarter, off the back of not getting a few things right. Like I said before, it’s a good ground to defend if you’re connected as a defence. Once we started getting a bit of field position and buffering the pressure, we were able to defend the way we wanted to defend and it makes it hard to speed up and easier on our defenders on a really good forward line. So there’s some real connection between our forwards, mids and backs and that’s what we’re after.
No I think we’ve got the all clear at this stage which is another positive.
Will Sean Darcy come back next week?
We’ll have to see how he goes next week, but we’re pretty confident Sean will come back, Tabs (Matt Taberner) might be another week.