Just you wait, Kent

GO-TO MAN: Crow defender Nigel Smart has his sights set on Cat Kent Kingsley for Sunday's clash. Photo: GETTY IMAGES  
Thursday, July 25

VETERAN Adelaide defender Nigel Smart has Cats' spearhead Kent Kingsley in his sights ahead of Sunday's showdown at Skilled Stadium for a top four berth.

Smart has admitted he is likely to line up at full back on the AFL's leading goalkicker in the absence of Nathan Bassett, out with a dislocated elbow.

Smart, the Crows' go-to man for some of the biggest defensive jobs in the AFL, has been studying tapes of Kingsley's style since the Crows' 43-point win over the Bulldogs last Sunday.

``We have done a fair bit of study on Kent and how he plays and we've got a number of strategies ready to counteract his strength,'' Smart said.

But he was giving nothing away yesterday.

``I won't go into too much detail. We will just have to wait to the weekend to see how it all goes,'' he said.

``If I can minimise his impact, the goals will have to come from somewhere else.

``That might be a (Peter) Riccardi or (Ronnie) Burns because they have plenty of scorers, but if we can stop Kingsley that's a start.''

Kingsley sits equal top with Melbourne's David Neitz on the goalkicking table, averaging 3.1 goals a game. He kicked 6.3 last weekend in the Cats' 39 point win over Essendon.

Smart, who shut down Western Bulldogs skipper Chris Grant last weekend, has installed Geelong as favourites for the clash.

Despite the potential for both sides to move into third place and extend the gap between the top four and pack, Smart refuses to tag the game a mini final.

``We still have six games to go,'' Smart said. ``If we were two or three games out of the finals, you could build it to be a mini final.

``But with six games to go both sides have games at hand to win a few or miss a few and still make finals.

``We look at it purely and simply as a tough clash against an AFL side that has won seven in a row.

``But even though they have won seven in a row, they're closer to a loss.''

The Crows are expected to recall Kane Johnson (calf), James Gallagher (hamstring) and Tyson Stenglein (groin).

``You have three guys there that can all play in our midfield and add to our rotation,'' Smart said.

``We need to put pressure on Geelong's midfield and if we've got a number of guys who can move in and out at will, it will make it difficult for any side to continually track them.''

Adelaide has defeated Geelong twice this year - a 31 point round two win at AAMI Stadium and a Wizard Cup crushing at Murray Bridge.

``Playing on a home ground, home crowd and a totally different confidence in a team, it should be a totally different contest,'' Smart said. ``What has changed in the Geelong make-up is their pressure and desire to get the ball.

``We will be going down to Geelong with a fair degree of confidence.''