Ade­laide v Gee­long

FRI­DAY 7.50PM

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE -

1HOW WILL RORY RE­TURN?

STAR mid­fielder Rory Sloane hasn’t played since Round 23, and in that time has had surgery to have his ap­pen­dix re­moved. Cats skip­per Joel Sel­wood ad­mit­ted he was a “lit­tle bit rusty” in his re­turn in the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal from a lengthy lay­off fol­low­ing an­kle surgery, so ex­pect Sloane to be put through his paces this week to en­sure he’s ready to fire. Re­sumed full train­ing last week and has de­clared he’ll “ab­so­lutely” be ready to go. Will he be tagged by Scott Sel­wood? Quite likely.

2HAVE THEY PLAYED ENOUGH LATELY?

FRI­DAY night — the Crows’ first home pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal in more than a decade — will mark just their sec­ond game in 26 days. Af­ter the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal win against GWS, they got in some sun in three days on the Gold Coast. Ar­gu­ments can be made for rest or mo­men­tum from play­ing. But af­ter a long year, re­ju­ve­na­tion can only be a good thing. They must start well.

3WILL JOSH JENKINS’ COM­MENTS HAUNT CROWS?

EX­PECT there to be a bit of heat on Fri­day night. The Crows for­ward set the stage with com­ments last week that “if (for­mer team­mate Pa­trick Danger­field) marches into town with his Gee­long team­mates, there’d be noth­ing bet­ter than beat­ing him and re­mind­ing him that per­haps he should have stuck around with us and he could be a Brown­low medal­list and premier­ship player”. Over to you, Paddy.

1DOES DAN­GER PLAY FOR­WARD?

IT was the brain­wave that worked at ev­ery turn on Fri­day night. Park­ing Pa­trick Danger­field in a deep for­ward role was ge­nius by Chris Scott and his coach­ing team. Ev­ery­thing the Brown­low medal­list touched turn­ing to gold. But would it work again? Cats mid­fielder Mitch Dun­can said if the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self, it could be a “lux­ury” that is used again. But go­ing back to the well twice? Not sure Scott will want to do any­thing ob­vi­ous.

2DOES SCOTT CHANGE A WIN­NING FOR­MULA?

OH, to be a fly on the wall at se­lec­tion this week. Tinker­ing with what works isn’t usu­ally the norm, but Tom Lon­er­gan is ex­pected to re­turn af­ter food poi­son­ing cost him his semi­fi­nal chance and Cam Guthrie will face a fit­ness test on that calf, as will Nakia Cock­a­too on his ham­string. Tom Ste­wart’s scans have cleared him of se­ri­ous ham­string dam­age, but he must be in some doubt. Scott said mak­ing room for Lon­er­gan was a welcome headache, but a headache is still a headache.

3CAN THEY KEEP UP DAM WALL?

GEE­LONG’S de­fence worked beau­ti­fully to re­strict Syd­ney to its low­est fi­nals score in 100 years. It was a far cry from the hefty scores coughed up early in the sea­son. The Cats back­line will have to be just as good this week. Ade­laide is ranked top for points scored, goals per in­side 50m and points dif­fer­en­tial from turnovers. In Round 11, Gee­long kept the Crows to 35 points less than their sea­son av­er­age of 109 points. It will need to en­sure the clamps stay on.

EARLY CALL CROWSBY 12POINTS

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