Bulldogs looking to blunt Slater - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs looking to blunt Slater

By Melissa Woods And Steve Jancetic 22/05/2009 07:22:29 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs halfback Brett Kimmorley says his side hasn't ruled out following the lead of Gold Coast and purposely kicking the ball dead to lessen the potency of Melbourne's strike fullback Billy Slater.

The Titans repeatedly kicked the ball dead in their round four meeting with the Storm to deny Slater the opportunity to take it at pace, the tactic also allowing Gold Coast to get their defensive line set.

With the Titans taking that match 18-6 at Olympic Park and Slater currently in devastating form with two tries in his side's 40-point drubbing of Canberra on Monday night, Kimmorley said the tactic could work again at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

"One of their key strengths is the returning game of Slater, if he catches it on the full, he's got ball-playing ability now so it puts the defence in a bit of doubt and he normally makes a break," said Kimmorley, whose Bulldogs lead the NRL.

"As much as it takes Billy Slater out of the play, it gives everyone a freshen up break.

"I don't know if we'll go that far ... I'd like to think kick it to the corner and try and defensively hold them down."

Kimmorley claimed the key to overcoming Melbourne's potent attacking force was simple ball control.

"I think the idea of beating Melbourne is to try and outplay them a bit, try and control your sets and wear them out a little bit so they haven't always got control of the game."

Like Slater, winger Steve Turner is another Storm player to hit form in recent times, scoring a try in each of their last four matches.

"It's been good to get across the line, I didn't find the tryline too often early in the season but I seem to be finding it now and I'm really enjoying my footy and so is the team," he said.

Turner said his team wasn't concerned by the opposition tactics to slow the ball down.

"I'm not too sure what they'll do, whether they kick it into touch or kick it dead.

"If that happens than we've got to combat that but I'm sure if Billy gets the ball on the full he'll bring it back just as he does every week."

Both teams were unable to train at Bluetongue Stadium because of heavy rain, which is expected to continue on Saturday.

Young Storm winger Joseph Tomane is expected to take his place in the line-up after suffering soreness following Monday night's win, however replacement Anthony Quinn remains on standby.

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