Watts and Naitanui square off again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watts and Naitanui square off again

John Salvado 11/08/2011 04:16:09 PM Comments (0)

Jack Watts knows the comparisons are inevitable.

Ever since Watts was selected by Melbourne with the first pick of the 2008 AFL national draft ahead of Nic Naitanui, their names have been grouped together.

The high-leaping, dreadlocked Naitanui made more of an immediate impact for West Coast.

Watts - the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy from Brighton Grammar - has been more of a slow burn for the Demons, although he has been arguably their best player in the second half of a difficult 2011 campaign.

When the Demons have been under the pump, sacked coach Dean Bailey and his caretaker replacement Todd Viney have both switched the versatile Watts from the forward line to defence to help stem the flow.

And if that happens again on Sunday, he may well spend some time directly opposed to Naitanui, who alternates between the ruck and in attack for the Eagles.

"If it happens, it happens," Watts said on Thursday.

"He's been in some pretty good form and played really well last week.

"Definitely (I'd enjoy it)."

Enjoyable isn't the first word Watts would use to describe the endless comparisons between the two.

But he's smart enough to know they're not going to suddenly disappear.

"There's no me versus Nic Naitanui this week, it's the Melbourne football club versus the West Coast Eagles," he said.

"We need to get the four points, it's a critical game for us.

"As much as you guys want to keep going on about it, as a team, as a person and as a club it's got nothing to do with the game."

Even though they are riding a three-match losing streak, the 11th-placed Demons are still an outside chance of qualifying for the finals if they win their last four games.

That makes Sunday's Etihad Stadium encounter against the fifth-ranked Eagles even more crucial, as the Demons will start as favourites in their remaining three games against Richmond, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide.

And the club has been buoyed by the newsthat young guns Jack Trengove, Luke Tapscott and Max Gawn have signed new contract extensions.

That leaves prime Greater Western Sydney target Tom Scully as the odd man out, although Watts insists he is not being pressured by his teammates to reveal his intentions.

"Obviously we'd love Tommy to re-sign," said the 20-year-old Watts.

"But he stated from the start of the year that he's going to wait until the end of the year before making his decision and the players are 100 per cent behind Tom Scully."

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