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Cats could use gun defender in ruck again after match-winning role

Full post-match: Cats Watch Geelong's press conference after round 15's match against Adelaide

GEELONG will toy with using star defender Mark Blicavs more in the ruck after his match-turning role against Adelaide on Friday night.

Blicavs, who could be in line for his first All Australian jumper after a brilliant year in the back half, had a huge impact against the Crows in the Cats' 27-point win.

As Geelong struggled to gain ascendancy early in the clash at GMHBA Stadium, Blicavs was shifted into the ruck and was vital as the Cats steamrolled the Crows in the second half.

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The two-time Geelong best and fairest finished the night with 16 hit-outs and 18 disposals, and helped nullify the influence of Adelaide big man Reilly O'Brien, who was having a big say in the first half.

Geelong coach Chris Scott said he would consider using the 28-year-old more in the ruck given the success of the move.

"We're going to have some long discussions around what we feel the best way forward is for us given he played so well in there," Scott said post-game.

 

The dry conditions under lights contributed to the decision to move Blicavs from his defensive post, with Scott crediting the athletic Cat as the most influential player in the win, coming after they had fallen 20 points down in the second term. 

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"Matty Scarlett was very open to it as our defensive coach. I think [Blicavs] could be up there with the best full backs in the competition at the moment, so I'm reticent to move him," Scott said.

"But we did go in with a bit of a plan to use him at times and the conditions weren't what we expected, so that changed things as well.

"I anticipated it being a lot more slippery. We didn't expect to see him in the ruck so much, but what we were doing wasn't really working.

"I think it was a collective effort, but he was the most obvious change in there and I thought the game was really going against us, as he was able to turn that as much as anyone."

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The win lifted Geelong to 12-2 as it continued its brilliant start to the season atop of the ladder.

Superstar Cat Patrick Dangerfield played out the game despite receiving a heavy knock to his hip in the second term, but Scott did not say the midfielder is in any doubt to face the Western Bulldogs next week.

 

"It was just a contact injury. An extra day [between games] may help, but I've seen him hobbling with significant injuries and find a way to get up," he said.

"But we just don't take risks with these guys…he could play on, albeit only as a forward, [and] that's a good sign."

He also questioned why Dangerfield did not receive a free kick for the incident, when he was met front-on in a marking contest with Crows backman Daniel Talia.

Scott was hopeful key forward Esava Ratugolea would also be available, despite the key forward's hamstring setback this week.