Worry for ‘Wolf Pack’ as Dogs show bite
The AFL premiership favourites have the wobbles. The Western Bulldogs stunned Geelong to inflict the ladder leader's second loss from three games - and there's one big worry for Chris Scott.
Yes, flags aren't won in July, but surely Geelong coach Chris Scott is starting to have a few concerns about his side after a second loss in three weeks.
The Cats had won eight games on the trot before the bye and 11 of their first 12 overall.
Since then there has been a win over Adelaide sandwiched by losses to Port Adelaide (11 points) and then Western Bulldogs (16 points).
The Cats remain the best defence in the competition and conceded just 71 points to the Bulldogs.
But the big worry is where has the scoring power of earlier in the season gone?
The much-heralded 'Wolf Pack' forward line produced just seven goals against the Bulldogs and eight majors against Port Adelaide a fortnight ago.
Saturday night's loss was a 10-goal turnaround on the 44-point win Geelong scored over the Bulldogs in Round 9 just six games ago.
The Cats weren't helped by their inaccuracy, and scored from each of their first six inside-50s which yielded just 2.4.
Late inclusion Gary Rohan had a chance to bring the margin back to 11 points with five minutes to go but missed a gettable shot on goal, which largely summed up Geelong's night in front of the big sticks.
But it was more than that.
When the Bulldogs - lead by Marcus Bontempelli and Aaron Naughton - turned up the heat in the second half, Geelong couldn't go with them.
The Cats were beaten by pace and are now off the pace with some work to do in the run home towards September.
Western Bulldogs fans have long been left groaning about their side's poor goalkicking accuracy, but Geelong caught the wayward kicking bug as well.
The Cats were rated the most accurate scoring side in the competition entering Round 16, with the Bulldogs 17th.
But at the seven-minute mark of the second term, the two sides had combined for 4.12 - the Cats having 3.7 on the board and the Bulldogs 1.5.
That wasn't even including two complete misses to that stage - one from Marcus Bontempelli and another from Tom Hawkins.
Goalkicking in the AFL is at an all-time low and under the roof at Marvel Stadium it is particularly hard to find an excuse for it.