Hille the danger man for West Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hille the danger man for West Coast

By Justin Chadwick 09/08/2008 03:48:06 PM Comments (0)

Matthew Lloyd has been tearing it up for Essendon in recent weeks but it is ruckman David Hille giving West Coast headaches ahead of Sunday's AFL clash at Subiaco Oval.

Dean Cox may well be on his way to a fourth straight All-Australian guernsey but the West Coast big man was given a football lesson by Hille in round 12 when the Bombers recorded a 22-point victory over the Eagles at Telstra Dome.

In that encounter, Hille tallied 27 possessions, nine marks, 22 hit-outs and three goals in a best afield performance, lowering Cox's colours in the process.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights said the match-up between Hille and Cox would be crucial to the outcome of the match.

"You'd expect Dean, being a proud man, that he'd want to strike back but Dean's got a fair few scalps over the years himself," Knights said.

"He's been the premier ruckman in this competition for a long time now so he's very well respected and David's going to have to be at his best again tomorrow to win that match-up."

West Coast assistant coach Darren Harris threw down the challenge to Cox to turn the tables on Hille.

"It will be a massive challenge for Coxy," Harris said.

"I think Hille is one bloke who's really challenged him over the journey so he needs to step up and match him.

"He (Hille) runs offensively very well. He backs himself in but he's also very good at the stoppages".

Lloyd has reinvented himself in the second half of the season as a roaming forward and the Bombers have reaped the benefits.

Last week against Melbourne, Lloyd bagged eight goals and took one of the marks of the season in a scintillating performance that guided the Bombers to their sixth win from their past seven starts.

But Lloyd will again be forced to lead the side without the help of fellow forward Scott Lucas, who has been ruled out for the second week running with a knee injury.

"He was fairly close," Knights said of Lucas.

"We had a fitness test with Scott and Damien Peverill yesterday. We felt Scott had improved significantly since last week but we thought he was around 85 to 90 per cent fit and if he can have another week he will possibly be up near 100 per cent next week.

"AFL football has become too quick and too speedy to put players that are injured out there and we have to make sure we do the right thing by Scott himself."

West Australian Courtenay Dempsey and 20-year-old Heath Hocking come into the Bombers' line up with Kyle Reimers (hamstring) and Peverill (glute) forced out through injury.

West Coast have also made two changes, replacing Brad Ebert (groin) and Brent Staker (thumb) with Matt Spangher and Ryan Davis.

While West Coast's chances of September action vanished months ago, Essendon still have a chance to sneak into the eight.

The Bombers started round 19 one game and percentage adrift of eighth spot and will probably have to win their remaining four matches - against the Eagles, Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and St Kilda - to snare a spot in the finals.

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