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Home away from home: AFL needs to explain its fixturing ‘ethical framework’, says Scott

Shaun Higgins is preparing for his 250th game.

Shaun Higgins is preparing for his 250th game. Credit:Getty Images

Scott said the Cats had consistently argued that all clubs should be able to stage their 11 home matches where they liked, and, mindful of treading on the roles of club president Craig Drummond and chief executive Brian Cook, said the AFL would need to detail any decision which denied the Cats of a GMHBA Stadium final.

“Certainly, when it comes to finals, that is slightly different in my view to home-and-away games in that the AFL decides the fixture there,” Scott, who questioned crowd limits at GMHBA Stadium earlier last month, said.

“The question should be directed at them, and they should explain their ethical framework for those situations. I don’t think it’s for the club to advocate on our own behalf. The AFL makes its own decision – we get very, very little say, if any.”

The AFL did not wish to comment.

The Cats ended a three-game skid against the Tigers when they met at the MCG in round eight, surging to a 63-point win behind Jeremy Cameron (six goals), Gary Rohan (five) and Tom Hawkins (four).

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Cameron (hamstring) will miss Shaun Higgins’ 250th clash on Sunday but Rohan (quad) and Lachie Henderson (managed) are fit, having missed the 69-point win over Fremantle. It’s been almost three weeks since Cameron was sidelined, and Scott said he expected the star forward back before the end of the home-and-away campaign.

“We are really confident he will play before the end of the home-and-away season and give him and us enough time to make sure he is absolutely cherry ripe going into finals,” he said.

While the surging Cats appear to have most bases covered, their greatest issue may be in the ruck, where they are relying on the inconsistent and sometimes undersized Rhys Stanley.

He faces an enormous challenge against the combative Toby Nankervis, ranked elite for contested possessions as a ruckman, and a man who wins 43.1 per cent of his hit outs, compared to Stanley’s 32.7.

The Cats also have Mark Blicavs and the re-contracted Esava Ratugolea, who can be used in the ruck, while Tom Hawkins is a master at the craft at boundary throw-ins up forward, but Stanley is pivotal.

Scott said Stanley, physically, was “in good shape and there is no reason to think that he can’t be really good for us”.

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