Cats promise to rain on Hale - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats promise to rain on Hale

By Adam Cooper 24/08/2008 06:34:24 PM Comments (0)

David Hale's eight-goal haul drew rich praise from his coach but a promise from Geelong that the North Melbourne big man won't enjoy himself as much in the future.

Hale produced one of the great solo efforts of the AFL season when he kicked 8.2 in a losing side as the Cats won by 33 points at Skilled Stadium.

At one point Hale had booted 50 points of his side's tally of 70, and had notched victories over Harry Taylor and Matthew Scarlett, arguably the game's premier fullback.

North coach Dean Laidley said Hale was outstanding and produced "probably the best game I've seen from a North Melbourne player in a long, long time".

But Cats coach Mark Thompson was determined Hale never be allowed to scale such heights again, given the two sides will likely clash in a qualifying final in a fortnight.

Thompson said his defenders had not played well against the beanpole, who booted five of North's first seven goals.

"In the end Hale has got away and kicked a lot of goals on us and that's probably unacceptable really," Thompson said.

"I'm pretty sure he won't kick eight goals next time we play them."

Hale produced one of his best games when he kicked four goals in round 11, when the Kangaroos got within 13 points of the reigning premier.

He used the great reach that comes with a 201cm frame to either outmark Taylor or win free kicks, before Geelong moved Scarlett on to him in the second term.

After that mid-season effort, Laidley said Hale had to become a more consistent performer, and noted how the Gold Coaster had continued to improve with confidence.

"He's playing at about seven-and-a-half foot now when he's going for his marks," Laidley said.

"He's realised that and he's putting himself in a position to be able to do that.

"From a confidence view and from a development point of view he's come along really well."

Hale will play his 100th game on Saturday, against Port Adelaide.

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