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Cats still look for ruck answers

Mitch Cleary - AFL Media  April 13, 2018 4:39 PM

R4: Chris Scott press conference Hear from Chris Scott ahead of the round 4 clash with the Saints.

GEELONG is still searching for the answer in its ruck division after opting for its fourth different set-up for Sunday's clash with St Kilda.

Rhys Stanley and Esava Ratugolea will team up for the first time this year after Zac Smith was overlooked for the third consecutive week despite playing in the season opener.

Last week Ratugolea carried the No.1 ruck mantle with Stanley dropped, while Ratugolea missed round two when Stanley played his first game of the season.

Coach Chris Scott said the Cats were yet to be settled long-term.

"We have a few options but we've just decided that we're not going to settle on one option when we're not happy with the output," Scott said.

"That might sound a little hard on some of those guys but they're really clear that there are opportunities there for one or more of them to take.

"We're certainly not going to sit on our hands until we get what we want.

"Very few players in the competition get that luxury to just be guaranteed a spot irrespective of performance."

Mitch Duncan will return from hamstring tightness after training strongly on Friday – Gary Ablett, Nakia Cockatoo and Cam Guthrie are missing through injury while James Parsons has been omitted.

Jordan Murdoch joins Stanley and Duncan in the team, while Jordan Cunico will line up for his first game since his debut in round 17 last year.

With up to four players to experience their first match at GHMBA Stadium on Sunday, Scott said he had sensed an extra buzz around the group this week.

"I have, the guys are excited about it and we try to embrace that as well. There's no reason to keep a lid on it," he said.

"We enjoy playing here, I think our supporters love watching the boys play here."

Geelong's VFL side will meet St Kilda's VFL affiliate Sandringham in a curtain raiser on Sunday, Scott saying first-year recruit Stewart Crameri was edging closer to AFL consideration after three hit-outs under his belt.