AFL 2020: Ratts Post Match Presser – Round 13 v Brisbane

As pleased as Ratten with his team’s effort in their two-point loss against the Lions, disappointment was the overriding feeling post-match. “We came here to get four points and we didn’t quite get there”, he said. Brisbane, I suppose, early could have put us away a little bit and made it difficult for us and made the challenge even bigger but they didn’t and I was really pleased with the way we finished the game off. The resilience to keep fighting and it looked like we were going to find a way.”

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“It wasn’t perfect footy but we were able to find some run and a bit of flow into our game. The scoreboard, by the end of it we’d kicked a few out on the full aswell and when you look at the stats they’re about even. Contested ball there’s three in it, Inside 50’s one, stoppages two in it. The game was there and it was an arm wrestle. They’re a top four team, here at the Gabba, I think we got a bit of confidence out of it too.”

“I think it shows us we’re thereabouts and I think everybody’s style is dependent on your list too. I think if you change and you didn’t have Hill and you didn’t have Butler and Kent and these blokes in your team, you’d probably play different. We do have those blokes and in and we play accordingly but I was really pleased with our endeavour, our contest work, just to get back into the game. It was a never say die kind of attitude and there was great spirit there today and it would have been great to win, and that’s what we came here for, but I thought we took a step forward as a group.”

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Despite praising the efforts of Seb Ross to curb the influential Lachie Neale, and the continued hot form of Jack Steele, Ratten felt it was a team effort. “They changed up and Neale went to Steele by the end of it to get into the game or to get going he only had one in the third I think. Sebbie did a really good job and Steele is in really good form and so is Zak Jones aswell. They all sort of compliment each other and that’s whats really important. It’s not Steeley doing it all by himself it’s the combination and they need the ruck support of Marshall and Ryder doing their thing too.

“It was pleasing but we had a few boys down on the day but a few fought back as well. Billings last quarter was nearly game-changing, he had nine possessions and nearly won the game off his own boot. Was very influential. It was good to see players who might have been down for the day respond and get them self going to contribute.”

“There were probably some defining moments in that last quarter if we had have moved the ball a bit different or did some things. I think we would have had the ball smothered maybe four or five times in the last quarter, and that’s a credit to Brisbane but if we could have squeezed one of those out who knows whats on the end of it. Maybe a bloke in front or something like that and it was mainly at our end where we were trying to score. So that’s credit to Brisbane they did what they needed to do but we did get a look and I did think we might have been good enough to get there.”

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Asked what changed to limit Brisbane’s intercept marking in defence, Ratten pointed to better ball use by his team. “I suppose the way we moved the ball helped a bit too and I thought a bit early we had about three opportunities to score and we just squandered some opportunities. We just needed to finish the play, complete the play. Move the ball from the back half to the front have and now just complete the play but we didn’t and we could have been closer at quarter time”.

“I think if we bring that spirit we’ll be very, very, competitive each week. There’s some finer details we need to work on but credit to Brisbane there a good team and they are going to be a good team for a long time. Their list is healthy, they’re coached well, and it was a good challenge for us and we nearly got there but that’s where we’ve got to get to. They’re in a position we want to get to, up near the top of the ladder, and that’s what we’ll keep fighting for.”

Ratten agreed that Brad Hill was getting back to his best and he was being better utilised by his teammates. Yeah, I’d say that. I’d say that the cohesion, the connection between him and others, and the understanding of what he can do and just working with players is starting to build. It might take all year but he’s going to be at our club for a long time. It was good for him to get the ball today and by the end of it they sat somebody on him which might happen too.

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