Sunday, June 20

AFL coach Chris Scott on South Australia Covid-19 border restrictions, coach Ken Hinkley, Adelaide Oval


The Cats’ flight home was delayed due to fog. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
The Cats’ flight home was delayed due to fog. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Geelong coach Chris Scott has hailed the resilience of his players after the Cats endured stringent Covid-19 protocols imposed by the South Australian government to shake off a stern challenge by Port Adelaide.

In order to be granted a border crossing exemption by SA Health, Scott and his travelling party were required to quarantine before Thursday night’s clash then spent six hours in the indoor cricket net area at Adelaide Oval.

Despite the less-than-ideal preparation, Geelong was able to follow in the footsteps of Collingwood, who defeated the Crows under similar circumstances last week, and pull off a successful border raid, rallying to a memorable 21-point win over the Power to improve to a 9-3 record.

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The Cats were then due to fly out the same night for another period of isolation, but their charter flight was delayed until Friday morning due to fog at Avalon Airport.

“I shouldn’t play it down too much because they were trying circumstances,” Scott said.

“I think in the fullness of time people might look at Collingwood and us winning and say that it couldn’t have been too bad, but the restrictions that the South Australian government put on us were arduous, there’s no doubt about that.

“It’s not only a credit to the way that we played but also the resilience that we showed under trying circumstances.”

Scott largely left his players to their own devices in the long hours leading up to the clash.

Jeremy Cameron chose to take a nap under a table and the extraordinary preparation worked a treat for the star forward who booted five goals to form a potent combination with Tom Hawkins, who finished with four.

It was evidence of the developing chemistry between the pair that was hampered by a hamstring injury suffered by Cameron following his arrival from GWS.

“Jeremy is capable of doing some pretty special things,” Scott said.

“I thought Jeremy did some things that very few players in the competition can do.

“I think they’re both enthused by the football that they can play together and we’re fortunate in a way that neither of them have an ego that means they prioritise their own performance over the other.

“If anything what we’ve seen is that they don’t become too conscious of each other.

“I think the mindset is a noble one: they feel that if the other plays well that they’re going to end up playing in a pretty good team.”

Port Adelaide has once again failed to defeat a premiership heavyweight. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Port Adelaide has once again failed to defeat a premiership heavyweight. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Port to power on

Ken Hinkley’s faith in Port Adelaide’s premiership potential remains unshaken despite his side’s latest loss to a flag contender.

The Power took an entertaining contest right up to Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night, leading by nine points early in the final term, but couldn’t hold off a late rally to go down by 21 points.

It’s the latest query about the validity of Port’s premiership credentials on the back of losses to heavy hitters the Western Bulldogs, Brisbane and West Coast.

“It’s the same information: we’re good but we’re not good enough against the best teams in the competition,” Hinkley said.

“We’re not going to hide from that.

“Right now, we’re not good enough against them. We’re good enough to challenge them and get really close.

“Right here and now, we’re just a little bit off those teams. It doesn’t mean we’ll be off them at the end but we’re off them at the moment.”

Hinkley lamented patches of play where the Cats were able to wrest the momentum, including a pivotal late rally where the Power conceded five unanswered goals.

Port slipped to an 8-4 record on the back of the loss, but Hinkley is adamant that wins against teams higher up the ladder aren’t far away.

“We’re in those games, we’re right in them,” he said.

“We’re giving ourselves a great chance (to win).

“We get nine points up in the last quarter so you know you’re good enough when it’s that late in the game that you can actually compete with them but if you don’t do it for 120 minutes against the very best teams that’s when you’ll come up short.

“Right now we’re coming up short but we know that we’re capable. We know that we’re good enough when we get it right but the challenge is to get it right for longer periods.

“It will be two or three minutes in our favour and not theirs and that will turn a game like this.”

Hinkley confirmed Todd Marshall, who was subbed out in the first quarter after a head knock, will miss next week’s clash against Gold Coast as he enters the league’s concussion protocol.

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