Cats' master AFL tactic could be a Danger

Patrick Dangerfield could be a real handful for Adelaide in the preliminary final.

Patrick Dangerfield could be a real handful for Adelaide in the preliminary final.

The burning question of where to play Patrick Dangerfield is as much a potential trap as it is an AFL tactical weapon for Geelong.

The stunning success of Dangerfield's move to full-forward last Friday night also ensures it will be the biggest talking point in preliminary final week.

The Cats went into their semi-final against Sydney as underdogs, but seized the initiative early.

Rather than starting Dangerfield in his usual midfield role, they played him one-out from the goalsquare.

The move rattled the Swans and after they kicked the first goal of the game, Dangerfield kicked the next two.

He went on to kick four first-half goals in a best afield performance.

It adds a whole new element to Adelaide's planning for their home preliminary final this Friday night against the Cats.

But the week before, Geelong had tried to repeat another tactical masterstroke in their qualifying final against Richmond and it backfired on them badly.

Swingman Harry Taylor again went forward and played on All-Australian defender Alex Rance.

In round 21, Taylor kicked four goals on Rance and was best afield as Geelong upset the Tigers.

But Rance easily won their duel in the qualifying final and Cats coach Chris Scott was criticised for persisting with the matchup, when clearly it was not working again.

Taylor returned to defence last Friday night when Tom Lonergan was a late withdrawal and led a superb backline effort.

With the help of his fellow backmen, Taylor restricted Coleman Medallist Lance Franklin to 0.3.

So with his fingers still freshly-singed from the qualifying final, Scott must decide whether it is worth persisting with the Dangerfield-up-forward experiment.

Veteran coach Rodney Eade told the AFL website on Sunday that the Cats should mix up Dangerfield's roles.

"I think (play him forward) in fits and spurts, but it's different against Adelaide, the way they play," Eade said.

"Adelaide, they have a bit more speed - I suppose they generate a bit more at half-back.

"I'd think he would be mid and forward (and) Adelaide would be prepared."

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