Cats aren't AFL finals flops: coach Scott

Geelong coach Chris Scott has dismissed suggestions his AFL side cracks under finals pressure.
Geelong coach Chris Scott has dismissed suggestions his AFL side cracks under finals pressure.

Coach Chris Scott says labelling Geelong as finals flops is lazy while defending Tom Hawkins after another wayward AFL qualifying final.

The Cats slipped to a 14-point qualifying loss to Port Adelaide on Thursday night, their 12th defeat in their past 16 finals.

Hawkins misfired, booting 0.5 and having another shot fall short - a season after kicking 0.4 in a qualifying loss to Collingwood.

The Coleman medallist sprayed set shots, mostly from wide areas, and also missed a left-foot set shot across his body from close range.

"He's a pretty good exponent of those snaps," Scott said.

"I think he took more marks inside 50 than Port combined.

"So that (conversion) part of the game was off, but I thought he looked a threat when we gave him half a chance."

Scott dismissed suggestions his club's possession-based game style cracks under finals pressure.

"I thnk the criticism is a bit lazy, personally," he said.

"But we would like to win more finals.

"We all feel pressure at this time of year

"I don't think we would look at the way we played and thought there were fundamental problems with the game style."

Scott said except for Richmond in the past three seasons, most clubs had poor finals records.

"Bar Richmond, if you include teams that don't make the finals, not many teams have good finals records," he said.

"You're playing the best teams at the end of the year in high pressure situations. So if you win it, you come away with a good record.

"The other option is you have a really good year one year and miss the finals three years in a row - that helps your record."

Geelong will play a semi-final against the winner of Saturday night's elimination final between West Coast and Collingwood.

And Scott was adamant his charges had the character to rally.

"We have consistently done it, this year we have performed well under adversity," he said.

"We have had our patches where we haven't gone that well but bounced back, both close games and within games.

"I have got a lot of faith in the character of our group.

"If we don't perform, I'd be very very surprised if we look back and thought the character and the strength of will was the biggest issue.

"I have got a lot of confidence in the resilience and the capacity of our players."

Scott believed Geelong would get to pick the venue of its semi-final.

"That is my understanding but we certainly haven't made a decision internally," he said.

"It's a bridge that we will cross in the future."

Australian Associated Press