Blues duo fight to play against Richmond - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues duo fight to play against Richmond

By Robert Grant 08/07/2009 03:05:31 PM Comments (0)

Exiled Carlton midfielders Nick Stevens and Heath Scotland must convince coach Brett Ratten he should change a winning side this week.

The experienced duo played in the VFL last week - missing the Blues' comeback victory over Fremantle - due to form issues.

But Ratten says if he can be persuaded at training that the pair have regained their bite, they will be reinstated for Saturday's game against Richmond.

However, Ratten said he would have to think hard before changing a winning formula.

"It's pretty hard," he said. "Their form was pretty good ... we'll go through that after training and see how everyone pulls up.

"They're in the mix, they're quality players, we just went with a different structure (last week) and they'll have to see how they go at the selection table.

"I'll have a look at the tapes and see how they went through my eyes."

Ratten made wholesale changes to the side which was embarrassed by Essendon the week before and stood by the wholesale changes he made to the line-up.

"The players have to play with good form and when you're experienced players and your form's up and down a bit, you get looked at.

"They got a few credits and had a few weeks when they were down a little bit and time was up," he said.

The last time the two sides met, in round one, Carlton won easily. Since then, the two sides have headed in opposite directions with Carlton in the eight and Richmond third last.

The Tigers' loss marked the beginning of the end for long-time coach Terry Wallace and Ratten said with caretaker coach Jade Rawlings now in charge at Richmond, the dynamics of the weekend's game would change.

"I think we look at the last three weeks that Jade has coached their team - are there any trends that they're doing a little bit different, how they're playing," he said.

"They've got a lot more youth into their team. It's interesting to get a gauge on where they're at but they're very, very competitive.

"The Adelaide game ... they beat West Coast (ran with) St Kilda for a quarter, so they've had some pretty good performances."

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