COACH Simon Goodwin has praised the performances of dashing half-back Jayden Hunt and versatile tall Jack Watts, who stepped up in the ruck in the absence of the injured Max Gawn, despite his side going down to Geelong by 29 points at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Goodwin said Hunt was “outstanding” and Watts “did a terrific job”.
“He’s a true competitor Jayden. Our ball comes in his area and he wins a lot of one on ones,” he said.
“His speed and offensive stuff, and ability to win contests is very good.
“I thought he performed strongly, Jack. His second and third quarters were outstanding. And it’s a big role for him – he’s undersized, but I thought he fought on manfully and looked really good around the contest.”
With Gawn out for an extended period, due to a hamstring injury, Goodwin said Watts could share the role with Jake Spencer, who is the player most likely to replace Gawn.
“Jake played [for Casey on Saturday] and he’s the second ruck and the logical option but we’ll sit down through the week and assess what we’re going to do,” he said.
“I thought Jack did a terrific job for a couple of quarters.”
In summing up the loss, Goodwin said it was a frustrating one.
“Clearly you’ve got to kick your goals to win your game of footy,” he said.
“We didn’t do that. Geelong late in the game was terrific and [Patrick] Dangerfield and [Joel] Selwood were outstanding around the footy.
“They deserved to win the game. I thought we played well enough to win the game, but ultimately Geelong deserved to win the game.”