Stunning Kreuzer ready for next big job - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stunning Kreuzer ready for next big job

Sam Lienert 25/06/2011 10:24:45 AM Comments (0)

Carlton assistant coach Matthew Capuano says Matthew Kreuzer's comeback has so far exceeded the AFL club's high expectations but he faces a huge task against West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Former North Melbourne dual premiership ruckman Capuano said Kreuzer was remarkable against Sydney last round, in his second AFL game back from a knee reconstruction.

"We don't really underestimate Matty Kreuzer, because everything he's done in terms of his rehab and his preparation for games has been first-class," Capuano said.

"But that game last week was fantastic.

"To have had that much of an impact on a game, second up after missing pretty much 12 months of football with an ACL, we probably were expecting him to maybe ease back into it a bit more."

Kreuzer's effort was more impressive, given his ruck-load increased when Shaun Hampson injured his knee.

That has opened the door for Robert Warnock to return, for his first match since round nine, when he was concussed and missed a late shot at goal, which would have given the Blues a win over Geelong.

Capuano said, just as Hampson grabbed his chance when Warnock went out injured, Warnock had to do the reverse now that Hampson was out.

The form of West Coast star ruck pair Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui gives him an ideal chance to impress.

He said the pair would also have a big responsibility in attack, particularly Kreuzer, given Jarrad Waite's continued injury absence.

Negating big-kicking Eagles rebounding defender Shannon Hurn, who kicked three goals against Port Adelaide last round, will be a major focus.

So will combating West Coast's multi-pronged attack, with danger men Josh Kennedy and Mark Le Cras well supported by Jack Darling, Quinten Lynch and the Eagles' ruckmen.

The absence of injured defender Nick Duigan hurts Carlton, with Capuano suggesting Bryce Gibbs might play on a West Coast tall forward.

But he said a big key would be maintaining the defensive pressure across the ground Carlton have made a hallmark this season, something West Coast's good ball movement will test.

"I see that as being the big difference for us (this season), in terms of setting a standard for everybody and us consistently being able to bring it to the table," Capuano said of the Blues' defensive focus.

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