Sport

Cats can benefit from home-ground advantage, says Scott Selwood

Scott Selwood in action against Richmond.
Scott Selwood in action against Richmond. JULIAN SMITH

GEELONG midfielder Scott Selwood admits the umpires have a tough job to do in front of a parochial home crowd - but he wasn't complaining.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick claimed the umpires were influenced by the parochial Geelong crowd in his side's 14-point loss at Simonds Stadium.

The Cats also won the free kick count 28-17.

"It is tougher for the umpires to try to get the right call," Selwood told Channel 9's Footy Show.

"We love playing here, we love our crowd, they're a really passionate supporter group and we love the way they encourage us and try to get us over the line.

"We try to play fairly and play to the rules and get a lot of free kicks that way."

While stopping short of suggesting the lopsided free-kick count cost the Tigers any hope of victory, Hardwick insisted the raucous pro-Geelong support among the 32,266 fans clearly had an impact.

When asked if Geelong had the biggest home ground advantage in the AFL, he said: "Absolutely ... the home crowd gets behind them. Have a look at the free kick count."

"It is what it is. What I will say is you've got a significant home ground advantage. I understand what (Geelong coach) Chris (Scott) is saying, I'd be playing as many home games here as I can. It is tough to play."

"They're an outstanding side, but they're an outstanding side plus when it comes to playing here."

The Cats have won 144 free kicks and given away 123 in six home games this year, losing the count only once - against the Western Bulldogs.

The Tigers have not had the rub of the green this season, having a -74 free kick differential - the biggest deficit of any team.

Topics:  afl2017 damien hardwick geelong cats richmond fc scott selwood

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