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Cats need Plan B for Betts

Football

Geelong will need to come up with a Plan B for Adelaide’s gun small forward Eddie Betts after stopper Jed Bews was ruled out of tonight’s highly-anticipated top-of-the-table clash at Simonds Stadium.

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Bews has enjoyed more success than most against the dangerous Betts in recent years.

But a calf injury means the 23-year-old Cat won’t get the chance to again square off against the two-time All Australian, who sits fourth in the Coleman Medal race.

The ladder-leading Crows boast the most potent attack in the competition, with big guns Betts and Taylor Walker complemented by Tom Lynch, Andy Otten, Charlie Cameron and Josh Jenkins, who reaches the 100-game milestone tonight.

Either old stager Andrew Mackie or the versatile Cam Guthrie is likely to get first crack at Betts in Bews’ absence.

Youngster Jordan Cunico was dropped despite showing some encouraging signs on debut against Port Adelaide last weekend, with veteran fullback Tom Lonergan and Nakia Cockatoo returning to the Geelong line-up.

The Crows have named the same side which handed out a 100-point thumping to Fremantle last weekend as they look to end a sorry run at Simonds Stadium.

Adelaide have only won three games at the venue in 19 previous attempts, with the most recent of those victories coming way back in 2003, before any of the 44 players selected to play on tonight had made their senior debuts.

“I think they are independent events,” Crows coach Don Pyke said yesterday.

“Even looking at the likely sides last night, there are probably going to be five or six changes from both teams from the last time we played them.

“Clearly down there previously, we haven’t been good enough and that’s a good test for us.”

It will be the third straight home match for third-placed Geelong, who have beaten the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide in the previous two rounds.

-AAP

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