Swans sweat on Hall, Eagles on Gaspar - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans sweat on Hall, Eagles on Gaspar

By Tom Wald and Roger Vaughan 18/09/2005 07:22:43 PM Comments (0)

Sydney enforcer Barry Hall's boxing talents go under the microscope on Monday as the Swans prepare for one of the most pivotal days in the AFL club's history.

The Swans are sweating on whether the AFL match review panel will charge the Sydney hardman ahead of Saturday's grand final against West Coast at the MCG.

Hall's much-publicised punch to St Kilda defender Matt Maguire's stomach in Friday night's preliminary final has come under intense scrutiny and a trip to the AFL Tribunal could prove a crushing blow for Sydney.

The fall-out from the decision on Hall is certain to spark debate whatever the result.

If Hall heads to the Tribunal, there will be debate over whether he has truly shed his bad boy reputation.

However if he is not cited, there is sure to be accusations of favouritism towards Sydney as the AFL has made no secret of its desire to crack Australia's toughest sporting market.

Senior player Ben Mathews said the super-confident Swans were capable of winning the club's first flag in 72 years without the services of Hall, but many critics would disagree.

However while the drama surrounding Hall will be this week's major talking point, West Coast has some selection headaches of its own.

Recalled defender Travis Gaspar could join Hall at the AFL Tribunal on top of injury concerns to key midfielder Michael Braun (knee), prolific goal-sneak Phil Matera (groin) and Brett Jones (quad).

Sydney finished over the top of the Saints at the MCG before the Eagles trumped Adelaide at Subiaco and bookies are unable to split the grand finalists.

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