Live: ‘Disrespectful’ accusation sparks a storm
Live: AFL Saturday
Welcome to AFL Saturday, our live coverage of today's games.
THE nailbiting race for the top eight hots up today after Richmond further cemented its status as premiership favourite with a thrilling win over Geelong on Friday night.
Seventh-placed Hawthorn is just four points ahead of Essendon (11th), who it plays at the MCG this afternoon while the Swans (9th) are desperate to get back to winning ways against Collingwood in Sydney after losing four of their past five.
If other results go their way, a win over Brisbane could bump the Kangaroos into the eight but lowly St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs are playing for pride at this stage of the season.
Elsewhere, only half of Adelaide will wake up happy tomorrow after the Power and Crows clash in another instalment of the Showdown.
Scott's 'disrespectful' comments cause a stir
Geelong is spoiling for a September rematch against Richmond after falling agonisingly short against the "beatable" reigning premiers at the MCG.
Gary Ablett missed a flying shot on goal with less than two minutes left in Friday night's thriller, allowing the Tigers to hang on for their record 19th straight win - 12.13 (85) to 12.10 (82) - in front of over 67,000 fans.
The loss leaves the Cats in a scrap to make the eight, but if they do get there, coach Chris Scott wants another crack at Richmond, who he said isn't the unstoppable force everyone believes.
"I don't think that anyone from our footy club should be walking away thinking that we need to change things drastically to beat them," Scott said. "They're the best side in it at the moment but they need a lot to go right for them to win it … no question.
"I think there are other teams in the same boat … they're a good team but they're beatable.
"They've won 19 games at the MCG in a row - they are good, (but) when you talk about the juggernauts of the competition of years gone by you're just never in the game against them.
"I don't see that (with the Tigers).
"We went down by less than a kick and we think we can play better."
Scott's comments about the ladder-leaders - who are eight points clear on top - generated plenty of discussion on Saturday morning. The Cats coach clarified his views on SEN radio, saying it "wasn't my intention to make a big statement … I thought I was just stating the obvious.
"I think I'm just stating the obvious, it's far from a forgone conclusion.
"I think Richmond is by far the best team in the competition, I'm not here to argue that point, I think that's a given, but where it will be in six to 10 weeks, I think it's still very much in the air."
North Melbourne great David King could see where Scott was coming from but said he missed the mark.
"They're two games clear on top, unbeatable at the MCG," King told SEN's Crunch Time. "I think that's a fraction disrespectful.
"What he was trying to say, and it didn't come out that way last night, and it probably does sound a little bit disrespectful on occasion, but what he's saying is, 'I'm telling my troops we can beat them.'
"I think when you really have a sensible look at it, he's right, but you just rarely hear a coach put that on the record after a game."
Richmond star Kane Lambert refused to bite when quizzed on Scott's comments. "A lot needs to go right for every club to win a flag. I only focus on what Dimma (Tigers coach Damien Hardwick) has to say."
The Cats were brave with their ball movement through the middle of the ground, which paid off handsomely on occasion but also allowed Richmond to hurt them on the rebound.
The high-risk, high-reward approach could prove instructive for other teams against a side Scott feels doesn't have the same aura as some premiers of the past.
- with AAP