Schache, Weitering set to go head-to-head ... again
IT'S NOT quite Glen Jakovich versus Wayne Carey, but today could be the first instalment of a great rivalry ... on the AFL stage.
The top two selections from last year's national draft, Carlton defender Jacob Weitering and Brisbane forward Josh Schache, could go head to head at Etihad Stadium today.
It won't be the first time they've met, however, with the pair clashing in Victoria's TAC Cup last season.
Though the duel dubbed a "dream match-up for recruiters" was a bit of anti-climax in atrocious conditions last July when Weitering's Dandenong Stingrays dominated Schache's Murray Bushrangers.
Schache eventually spent time in the ruck, while Weitering was moved to his team's own forward line because the ball wasn't getting to them enough.
Weitering eventually finished with 10 marks and shored up his position as the potential No.1 draft pick.
Despite his struggles that day, the 199cm Schache has so far played nine games to be one of the Lions' real beacons this season, and took eight marks, three contested, and kicked two goals in the loss to Hawthorn last week.
The 195cm Weitering has also been outstanding, averaging almost six marks a game in the Blues' defence, and collected eight grabs and 17 disposals to help his side withstand Geelong last week.
"If we get that match-up it will be exciting for the fans," Carlton coach Brendon Bolton said.
"I think it may happen at some point, but we play team defence so it can't happen all the time."
While Carlton finished last in 2015, it has gone 5-5 after the first 10 rounds, leaving Brisbane, second last season and third-last this season at 1-9, in its wake.
The Blues will however miss skipper Marc Murphy (ankle) today, while the Lions welcome back their own captain, Tom Rockliff (hamstring) alongside ex-Cat and big-bodied midfielder Jarrad Jenson for his first game.
"I say this weekly, we want to be defined by our pressure and he'll just add to that," Bolton said.
"I'm sure the likes of (Andrew) Walker, (Bryce) Gibbs, (Patrick) Cripps, (Ed) Curnow, they'll all step up. He (Murphy) is a quality midfielder, but we can't rely on one individual and to this point in the year we don't think we have.
"We need to be a team that's the sum of its parts."