AFL Cats’ Scarlett rues hit on Ballantyne
Triple-premiership defender Matthew Scarlett says he’ll blame himself if Geelong narrowly miss playing finals football this season.
The defending premiers are seventh on the AFL ladder with a 7-4 record but face a tough draw in the last seven rounds including clashes with Collingwood, Essendon, Adelaide, Hawthorn, West Coast and Sydney.
Six-time All-Australian Scarlett lost his cool during Geelong’s round-one game against Fremantle in Perth, punching small forward Hayden Ballantyne and earning himself a three-match suspension.
“I was pretty frustrated at the time and wasn’t having a great game,” Scarlett told Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday night.
“I do regret it. I reckon ultimately that cost us the game that night. It cost us two goals and we only lost by (four) points.
“If it comes really close at the end of the year and we miss the top four or the top eight by a game, I’ll be pretty flat with that.”
Scarlett was praised by several rival players around the league for dishing out some rough stuff to Ballantyne.
“I don’t think anyone deserves to get hit like that, but it was nice to get a bit of support from a lot of the other players,” Scarlett said.
Scarlett, 33, said he would decide at the end of the season if he wanted to play on next year.
“We haven’t started this year particularly well but we’re confident by the end of the year we’re going to be playing our best football,” Scarlett said.
“There’s a few little areas we’re going to have to work on and once we do I think we’ll play some great footy.”© AAP 2013
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