K rock Football

Stanley cleared for action

Geelong ruckman Rhys Stanley competes against Port Adelaide’s Scott Lycett in Round 12 (AFL Photos/Getty Images Image/Matt Roberts)

GEELONG coach Chris Scott has allayed fears over Rhys Stanley’s fitness, declaring his first-choice ruckman right to play in their AFL preliminary final against Brisbane.

Stanley returned from a knee injury for the finals and was hindered by an issue with the joint late in last week’s thumping win over Collingwood.

But Scott said the athletic big man is a certainty to play at the Gabba on Saturday night and battle Lions ruck duo Stefan Martin and Oscar McInerney.

“It wasn’t even a scare,” Scott said on Friday.

“He came off after knocking his knee and then came back on the ground and didn’t really require much treatment during the week.

“He did come off the track a little bit early on Wednesday night, but he’s fine.”

The Cats are likely to name an unchanged line-up with almost a completely fit squad to pick from at the right time of year.

“We’ve had relative stability over the previous month and we’re pretty confident with the personnel we’ve got,” Scott said.

“In a way, I feel for some of the players on the periphery of our team who are performing really well, as best they can, with limited opportunity in match practice and training with our group.

“We’ve got pretty good depth and we think we’ve got pretty good stability, which doesn’t guarantee you anything, but it’s better than being unstable.”

Scott said Geelong will have to “face the reality” that the preliminary final could be Gary Ablett’s last game but won’t spend too much time focusing on the retiring champion’s individual circumstance.

“We had a practice run at it last week and we hope that we’re having the same conversation next week as well,” Scott said.

Scott is looking forward to seeing his key forward Tom Hawkins do battle with fellow All-Australian Harris Andrews and said Mark O’Connor was likely to be deemed the most appropriate match-up for dangerous Lions goal sneak Charlie Cameron.

But the coach gave little away about his plans for Patrick Dangerfield after the versatile star kicked four goals playing predominantly in attack last week.

(C) AAP 2020