Barry Hall punch is long forgotten: Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barry Hall punch is long forgotten: Roos

By Justin Chadwick 05/06/2008 07:02:59 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos believes Barry Hall's round four knockout of West Coast's Brent Staker has not soured the relationship between the two AFL clubs.

The two teams lock horns at Subiaco Oval on Saturday for the first time since the controversial incident, which saw Hall cop a seven-week suspension for his behind-the-play punch on Staker.

Hall's actions had threatened to cast a shadow on one of the great club rivalries of the modern era, but Roos was confident both clubs had put the incident behind them.

"The respect is still there between the two clubs," said Roos in Perth.

"It was an incident we certainly didn't want to happen but it happened.

"I think we handled it well. Hally, after the incident, handled it well and it's long forgotten now.

"I didn't get a chance to speak to Woosha (West Coast coach John Worsfold) but I left a message for him and his message back to me was 'appreciate the phone call, we've moved on and good luck for the rest of the year', and so forth."

Hall is serving the final week of his suspension, meaning there will be no on-field meeting between the Sydney full forward and Staker.

But Hall, who broke his wrist during that fateful match, is set to return for next week's clash against St Kilda at the SCG.

Roos said Hall's absence for the re-match against West Coast would mean less distractions for both clubs.

"I just think it may have been a distraction in a sense that neither John or myself really needed," he said.

"It was enough of a distraction during that game."

West Coast's players copped criticism for not remonstrating with Hall when Staker was felled but Roos stood up for Worsfold's charges.

"How do you react in today's footy?" Roos said.

"I don't know what you can do really. You don't want to reverse the free kick. You are sort of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

"If one of their blokes had have punched Hally or (Adam) Hunter got suspended for hitting Hally he would have got criticised for doing that.

"I thought the way they handled themselves was very professional."

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