Rugby League

Cats weigh selection changes, could bring Steven back

Chris Scott is uncertain whether midfielder Jack Steven will play for Geelong in four days time at the Gabba, having missed the last two games.

Speaking after the Cats’ narrow and spirited loss to the Eagles on Saturday night at Optus Stadium, Scott said there were plenty of worthy players to call upon for the club's upcoming tight run of games.

Chris Scott says the Cats will have options to change up their line-up.Credit:Getty Images

However, having missed two weeks to "get some training into him," Scott could not say if Steven would miss a third AFL game, or play.

"He is pretty close. If it's not this week I would say he'd play next week," he said.

"We have got some guys we think can come in and do the job. We have had a plan around it.

"I think we have half a dozen, eight players who can come in and do a job [including players returning from injury]."

Joel Selwood, Quinten Narkle, Josh Jenkins and Rhys Stanley could all be available for selection for Wednesday's game, although Narkle and Stanley are more likely for the one after against St Kilda on August 10.

Scott said he would take plenty of positives from the loss.

"It feels like we're building something [despite losing and not having key players]," he said.

"Until you work through who has played who, I think the ladder can be a little deceptive.

"Tonight gave us a little bit of confidence we're not out of touch with the best teams in the comp.

"We had control of the game for larger periods. They obviously have some weapons that are clear for everyone to see. And when they have the game on their terms, they're very hard to stop. So we've got no excuses. But we are optimistic about what we might look like being able to choose two genuine ruckmen."

Scott, referencing the injury absence of Stanley and Darcy Fort in the ruck, was proud of how Esava Ratugolea and Mark Blicavs played against Nic Naitanui.

Naitanui was excellent at stoppages but less so around the ground, something Scott pointed out more than once, although he said the Eagles ruck was "mesmerising".

West Coast coach Adam Simpson lauded Naitanui and his side's resilient performance.

"Good resilience," Simpson said of the win. "We had a rough patch there for a few weeks and worked really hard with our leadership, our system, our brand, our identity, and I feel like we've got through that at phase.

"But halfway through the second quarter, it wasn't probably the way we wanted to play. So we've still got some work to do.

"Nic was special. We all know that, don't we? Geelong missing a ruckman helps us."

Source: Read Full Article