Playfair's form 'easing Hall's absence' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Playfair's form 'easing Hall's absence'

By Eoin Blackwell 22/05/2008 05:37:19 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos says the form of ex-Geelong recruit Henry Playfair is making the long absence of suspended star forward Barry Hall less of a burden.

Hall is out until at least the round 12 clash with St Kilda, after the seven-match ban for his infamous punch on West Coast's Brent Staker in round four.

Even then, he might not be able to return, as he continues to feel the effects of a wrist injury sustained in the same match, although Roos said his recovery was progressing well.

But the Swans coach said Playfair, who could only manage to squeeze into the Cats' line-up for one game last season, Geelong's only loss in their past 27 matches, was filling the gap nicely.

After making his Sydney debut in round seven against the Western Bulldogs, when he pulled in six marks and kicked a goal, Playfair impressed with nine marks and three goals in a big win over Essendon on Sunday.

"He makes our structure a lot better and that's why we got him," Roos said.

"We hope to see Hall back ... but at this stage (Playfair) is fitting in really well."

Running forward Ryan O'Keefe, who will play his 150th AFL match against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Saturday, said Playfair's presence has been a real benefit for the team.

"Henry's been great, he's brought another big body, he competes well," O'Keefe said.

"Without having Barry here, it's really freed up the smaller guys, they can really be good at crumbing."

But Roos was hopeful Hall's return from suspension, in three weeks' time, would not be delayed by his injury.

"He's training hard, training really well," Roos said.

"We'll know a bit more next week. At this stage, his wrist seems to be doing really well."

Meanwhile, the Swans rated play-making defender Tadhg Kennelly, set to miss Sunday's game with a knee injury, as some chance to return against Richmond the following weekend.

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