A BACK to basics approach has once again made Geelong hard to score against and led to the Cats winning three on the trot, according to coach Chris Scott.
After conceding more than 100 points to the opposition in consecutive losses that embarrassed the Cats, they have let the opposition kick just 163 points in the past three rounds.
The stinginess has pushed their percentage above 100 (it is 102.4 per cent) for the first time since round 11 and put them back in finals contention.
"[We] stripped it back a little bit, focused on how we played when we defend really well and what is important to our game," Scott said.
"We have been able to execute those things pretty well - I thought we let them in for a few easy goals today - but for the most part it looked difficult for them to score."
Five talking points: Geelong v Brisbane Lions
Geelong sat seventh for least points against leading into round 18 and allowed the Brisbane Lions to score just 57 points,
The Cats also managed to kick their first score in excess of 100 points since their round 10 demolition of Essendon.
Scott was impressed with Josh Walker's five goal haul, the 22-year-old's biggest return in his 28 games for the Cats, saying Walker had the capacity to develop into a key forward in the AFL
"In my view he is an AFL key forward. There aren't many spots in teams for those players. Next to [Tom] Hawkins they look like a pretty powerful combination.
“We were really impressed with Josh and I am confident he is going to be a very good AFL player," Scott said.
Walker said post-game he had a point to prove after being subbed out of the game the previous week.
"Coming off a quiet game last week I was pretty determined during the week to have an impact in the game," Walker said.
He kicked five straight and was the most influential forward on the ground.
Walker said being a regular in the team helped his game. His coach agreed with the observation.
"I think his confidence is growing and days like today, when he is playing on a young key defender round about his age, levels the ledger a little bit," Scott said.
Geelong knows that the biggest tests lie ahead, beginning with the Sydney Swans next Saturday night at Simonds Stadium.
If the Cats can win that, they will be a genuine chance to make the finals.
It will also be a big challenge for the renewed, reinvigorated defence, particularly for emerging talent such as Jake Kolodjashnij and Jackson Thurlow. Scott said Jared Rivers remained a chance to return.
Click here to watch Chris Scott's full media conference
"The task gets tougher next week against Sydney so we will have a good look at [selection against] two of the most dangerous key forwards in the comp. It's important that our defence performs well," Scott said.
The coach was also honest in his assessment of why Mathew Stokes was out of the team for the second week in succession despite showing good form in the VFL last week, saying it was due to the transition process being undertaken at Geelong.
"The brutal truth, and it is brutal for Stokesy, is that on balance he's probably better than some of the guys who are playing in our team at the moment," Scott said.
"But they're younger and that's working in their favour. It's never easy to hear that but unfortunately for him that's just the reality right at the moment."