GEELONG coach Chris Scott wants an answer over whether the pre-finals bye will be cancelled, and soon.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has said there is a chance the bye will be scrapped in order to continue the momentum of the season and as a response to changing border laws as lockdown envelopes Victoria and New South Wales.
Scott's Cats sewed up a top-four spot with a 14-point win over St Kilda, with its final position to be in part dictated by a blockbuster round 23 clash against fellow flag fancy Melbourne.
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"Case-by-case basis (on resting players next week). I must say, even in the turmoil that the world's endured over the past 18 months, to not know whether there's a bye six or seven days out (from the final round), we should know by now," Scott said.
"I haven't heard a good argument – and this is driven completely by self-interest, so let me put that on the table – maybe you guys could enlighten me, what's the argument for scrapping the bye?
"You would only bring the [finals] forward if you thought things were getting worse in Melbourne, as it is at the moment, no crowds is no crowds, you can't get worse than that."
Scott acknowledged the issue of finals aspirants Sydney and GWS having been on the road for quite some time when it was suggested.
"Challenging would be the understatement of the year, to say the last 18 months or so has been brutal on everyone on the footy industry. I've said it over and over again, I don't want that to sound like we're doing it harder than other cohorts in the population," Scott said.
"I'd be staggered if that was a good enough reason, that two clubs have been on the road for a while.
"We've all had to make decision in the past two weeks when we realised it was a possibility, and we're guessing (in those decisions). We're working on the basis that there's not going to be a bye, I think we've all been conditioned for that eventuality, doesn't make it right though."
Defeated St Kilda coach Brett Ratten was proud of his players' effort, endeavour and first quarter, when the Saints leapt out to a 31-point lead, but said polish was an issue.
"The areas we need to get better at – you don't lose contested ball by 40, that's where we lost. You can have some moments and lose a contest here and there, but we just had moments where we lost contest after contest after contest," Ratten said.
"Some of that was being second to the ball, giving away free kicks, but the second quarter they just dominated stoppages, got good field position and made it very tough for us to get out."
Ratten conceded Max King would be unlikely to play next week against Fremantle after re-injuring his adductor/groin, while Darragh Joyce suffered a concussion late in the game.
King had dominated the first quarter, kicking 2.1 from six marks, but was restricted for the rest of the game.
"It was pretty encouraging, not just for St Kilda but from any young forward in the competition," Ratten said.
"Marking the ball at the highest point, converting, he was playing some fantastic footy. I don't know if it's worse than what it (originally) was, but I think it's back to that same position and he just tweaked it again."