Poor kicks sink top four hopes

FALLING OUT: Adelaide's Nigel Smart contests with Kent Kingsley at Skilled Stadium yesterday. Inaccurate kicking cost the Cats dearly, the team losing by three points. Photo: PHILLIP STUBBS  
Monday, July 29

GEELONG coach Mark Thompson liked what he saw in his side's three-point defeat at the hands of Adelaide.

Crows coach Gary Ayres liked even more what he saw of his side but there were plenty of Geelong fans who didn't, crying foul at the umpires and claiming they were robbed.

Everyone sees the game from a different perspective depending on the colour of their blood but the lost opportunity to seal fourth spot and go a game clear wasn't playing on Thompson's mind after the match.

In fact, he described the defeat that ended Geelong's seven-game winning streak as ``fantastic''.

Certainly, the loss will ease the pressure of finals talk that has been swirling about.

``We played the sort of footy that deserved to win, we just never got the points,'' he said after the match.

``What else do you want out of it, it's fantastic . . . except for the points.

``I don't mind losing a game, that doesn't worry me. To lose a game and still play quite well is not such a bad thing.

``It wasn't as if we won seven and then just lost our legs and played terrible, that never happened and that's pleasing, that's good.''

Thompson has proved himself an eternal optimist, even in the dark days of the season's opening rounds when the Cats were getting flogged, and it was no different after yesterday's narrow defeat

His spin this time being that Geelong lost the game rather than Adelaide winning it.

``Bad kicking for goal and they (Adelaide) were so accurate, it was one extreme to the other, wasn't it?'' he said.

``We outplayed Adelaide and we lost the game, moreso than I think Adelaide winning it.''

He liked the way his side fought back after being down by as much as 28 points late in the first quarter and he said the disappointment among the players at the end of the game was ``great''.

The side, he said, should draw plenty of positives from the loss after beating the Crows in most areas of the game except where it counted, on the scoreboard.

``What we get out of it is we played a very good side and beat them in a lot of areas of the game that are crucial to winning football,'' he said.

And while Ayres put Geelong's missed shots down to pressure from his players, Thompson dismissed that saying plenty of them were gettable and from set shots.

``We let ourselves down through bad kicking and lost the game,'' he said.

``Twelve goals 18 (behinds) . . . I think we should have got a few more of those.''

Adelaide's accuracy and its endeavour around the ground laying 70 tackles was the best since Ayres took over the reins at the club.

``I think it was an earned win, because really if you can have shots on goal, you've got to kick them,'' Ayres said.

``I have no doubt our pressure caused Geelong to miss and that's probably part and parcel where some of their guys are at, maybe, because they're reasonably inexperienced.

``But you've got to obviously be able to think your way through the heavy traffic.