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Selwood our new Ablett: Scott

Adam McNicol  April 1, 2013 7:45 PM

Post-match: Cats Watch Geelong coach Chris Scott's post-match press conference
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Geelong coach Chris Scott again heaped praise on skipper Joel Selwood



CHRIS Scott heaped praise on Joel Selwood after Geelong's comeback seven-point win over Hawthorn on Easter Monday, comparing the Cats skipper's performance to Gary Ablett's match-winning heroics for Gold Coast against St Kilda on Saturday night.

When Geelong was being comprehensively outplayed by the Hawks during the first half, Selwood almost single-handedly kept the Cats in the contest.

He flew the flag in all sorts of ways, even becoming involved in scuffle with Hawthorn star Lance Franklin at one stage.

Five talking points: Hawthorn v Geelong

When the tide turned in the second half and Geelong began to take control, Selwood was the driving force.

The 24-year-old routinely won the ball out of the middle of the ground, set up goals and even kicked one himself, finishing with 33 possessions, six tackles and three clearances.

"When the heat was on in the third term … I don't think we should dismiss Joel Selwood, who reminded me a little bit of Gary Ablett the other night when the game was on the line," Scott said.

"They are different players. We should not really compare them. But Joel just imposes himself on the game.

"Gary does it with brilliance, and I think we are all in awe of what he was able to do the other night.

"But it really looks to me, from the outside, that Joel decides that something needs to be done and he is going to take the whole team with him."

As is often the case, Scott was also keen to acknowledge the efforts of the Cats' emerging stars.

"I was most pleased with Smedts, Motlop, Murdoch, Blicavs," he said. "They looked like they belonged and they relished that type of game.

"When something needed to happen, our experienced players stood up, as you'd expect them to.

"But the young guys aren't afraid to impose themselves on the game as well."

Although Geelong has now recorded 10 consecutive wins over Hawthorn, Scott was keen to play down talk of his team having a psychological hold over the Hawks.

"I don't (think we do)," he said. "It would be nice if the players did, but I don't think that's true.

 "I don't think they believe that. The symbolism in footy is brilliant for the fans.

"What you're seeing, in reality, is two good teams who perform on the big stage.

"It's clear, when you look at the margins, there's not a big gap between the sides.

"It's illogical to say that a team that was completely different in 2009 still has a hold over a team in 2013.

"When the heat's on, I trust our guys. That's not being disparaging of Hawthorn in any way, shape or form.

"In fact, we're more aware of the limited preparation they had for today. It concerns us a little bit we're going to have play them again this year."

Despite getting the job done in the end, the Cats were ragged in the first half, with players fumbling and often misdirecting kicks and handballs.

"I was a little bit shocked, I'm sure our players were as well, that we were missing some pretty basic targets," Scott admitted.

"We do need to understand it's probably a reflection of the heat of the game.

"Round one on that stage against the Hawks is a pretty intense environment.

 "I was really confident that once we settled, we'd play a little bit more like we did through the NAB series."

Scott and his men are aiming to rectify their recent history of slow starts when they take on North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.