Geelong Cats coach Chris Scott says keeping the ball fit has fundamentally changed the way the game is played.

The “fundamental” change in the middle of the season is not ideal, says Scott

Geelong coach Chris Scott says it’s “not ideal” clubs have to change the way they play mid-season because of an AFL-directed change to the possession rule.

Cats’ Oliver Dempsey is tackled. Getty Images

Speaking after the Cats’ first win in five weeks, a 30-point victory over Richmond at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night, Scott said the referees had become “pretty hot to hold the ball”.

“It’s fundamentally changed how you play around the ball,” Scott said in his postgame press conference.

“We can see that after — how many games have been played (this weekend) — four or five games.”

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Geelong midfielder Tanner Bruhn agreed the new interpretation of the rules required some mid-game adjustments as the Cats midfielder was overwhelmed in the first half by Richmond’s intensity and tackling pressure.

“It took me a while to get used to it, to be honest,” Bruhn told this post.

“I think at the beginning of the game, we’re all wondering, ‘how is this going to play out?’

“But after a few calls were made, we kind of realized that, ‘wow, they’re going to agree.’

The Tigers had a firmer grasp of what to expect, dominating Geelong in the first half, outscoring 23 to 18, 18 to 13 and 39 to 29.

The parochial Geelong crowd were livid in the first two terms when at least two possession deciders went unpaid against Richmond players who appeared to give up the ball during tackles.

“I think most people would expect an overreaction from the umpires because it’s really hard to make an adjustment and get it right,” Scott said.

“I don’t have a strong opinion about it yet, but the one thing I’m happy to say is that we’re going to have to adapt the way we play from the back. And that’s not ideal in round 11 or 12, or whatever.

“We have to think a little bit. Normally you go through these things in a four-month pre-season.

“All we’ve ever asked for is to have all the information we can so that we understand the rules exactly as they are to be interpreted. And then we can train the players accordingly.

“So there will be a lot of examples that we can look at, in this round and in the next round, that we can get clarification on.”

Geelong trailed by 29 points in the first half and went into the long break 16 points in arrears, struggling to contain the dominance of Liam Baker and ruckman Toby Nankervis.

It must have been a tough watch for Patrick Dangerfield, who has been stuck in the trainers’ box for the last five rounds, waiting for his hamstring to clear (shut it down next week).

But “Danger” would have been proud of the Cats’ midfield quartet of Jack Bowes, Tanner Bruhn, Max Holmes and Tom Atkins, who turned the game in Geelong’s favor during the third term.

They did so by winning clearances 12-5, center clearances 6-1, stop clearances 6-4 and the Cats led third quarter tackles 17 to 11.

While young forward Ollie Dempsey kept his side in the game with two late goals in the second quarter and one in the third, a previously quiet Jeremy Cameron was moved to a wing to assert an influence considerable and Shannon Neale put the Cats in front for the first. time the entire game at the 20-minute mark of the third term.

Their effort catapulted Geelong back onto the winning list and suddenly their 8-4 return for the season looks healthy.

“There is no room for slacking off in this competition,” Bruhn said.

Patrick Dangerfield will be back next week. Getty Images

“I knew Richmond, obviously they’ve got a few out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to bring the heat and they’re not going to bring the pressure, so we were probably a bit less on top. half.

“But we were able to pull it back and finish the game well.”

Scott said Geelong would be looking to get their skipper back for next Sunday’s clash with league leaders Sydney at the SCG after he “had a really good couple of weeks on the track”.

“He tracks really well, Pat, and he’s going to be a great addition,” Bruhn said.

“We kind of have that next-man-up mentality, but when you have Patty Danger coming back, it’s a beautiful one.”

One negative for Geelong was the loss of Ollie Henry to hamstring awareness in the second quarter, but Scott said the decision to take him out was precautionary.

The Tigers weigh up Dusty’s decision ahead of the Crows clash

Injury-hit and undermanned Richmond face the dilemma of whether to take club champion Dustin Martin to Adelaide on Thursday night to play his 300th game in a five-day break.

If the Tigers rest their three-time premiership star, he could celebrate the milestone the following week in front of the Richmond faithful at the MCG against Hawthorn.

Dustin Martin’s next game will be his 300th. AFL photos

Richmond coach Yze said the decision to play Martin would not be made to save his 300th game for the MCG – a feat which saw him win a record three Norm Smith Medals.

“Oh no, it won’t happen because we have a five day break,” Yze said.

“So we’ll probably have three or four players in that category, depending on their age and workload, who could be a big risk to play against Adelaide no matter what.

“So we’ll go through that and see who does well and things like that, and he’s obviously going to be one of those players. So we will let you know as soon as we can.

“We’re about performance and things we want and he’ll want to play but, as I said, if it’s too risky based on a five-day break … we’ll make that decision later in the week. “

The Tigers’ injury curse continued Saturday night, with impressive forward Mykelti Lefau sidelined with a knee injury and Marlion Pickett ruled out of the game with a calf complaint.

“It looks like he hurt his knee,” Yze said of Lefau. “Obviously he’s going to go for scans on Monday. It will be earth-shattering if it is, because he is in good form and a real talent.

“So if it is, we’ll wrap our arms around him like we did with the other guys who got hurt, but hopefully that might not be the case.”

As well as being sidelined with a calf injury, Pickett could be looking at a fine for appearing to give the Geelong crowd the bird as he strolled off the ground.

“I didn’t see him,” Yze said. “But if he did, yes, it would be disappointing. I would definitely talk to him.”

In a lighter moment, Yze said key back Noah Balta was referring to a bench notebook during the second term as he tried to explain Geelong’s blocking formation and what they were doing in the forward their 50.

“He called me and I couldn’t read his writing, but he was smart,” Yze said.

“Look, it was just a different way of explaining what he was trying to convey. So it made sense in the end and he had a really good game.”

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