Wallace farewell 'won't affect Tigers' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallace farewell 'won't affect Tigers'

By Sam Lienert 02/06/2009 05:19:39 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade doubts Richmond counterpart Terry Wallace's farewell will provide the Tigers with an emotional boost in Friday night's AFL clash.

But Eade believes the Tigers are playing well enough to give the Bulldogs some concerns in the Etihad Stadium encounter anyway.

Wallace will guide the Tigers for the final time, before he hands the reins to an interim coach whose identity is yet to be determined.

"It shouldn't really affect anything," Eade said on Tuesday.

"It's probably more their form and the fact that they played well on the weekend (against Fremantle).

"They're a dangerous opposition if you allow them to be so I think we've got to worry about what we've got control of and that's the way we go about it.

"We've got good momentum at the moment and we need to cement that on Friday night."

Eade said the emotional lift players gained from a coach's departure tended to be a factor once the coach had actually left rather than in their final game in charge.

The Bulldogs will make two significant gains at selection, with Eade saying key forward Robert Murphy and key defender Tom Williams would both return from injury.

But forward Scott Welsh is unavailable after accepting a one-week suspension for engaging in rough conduct against Swans tagger Jared Crouch.

He said with the squeeze for ladder positions behind runaway leaders St Kilda and Geelong, the third-placed Dogs needed to build on their impressive form in downing Sydney by 40 points in Canberra on Saturday.

At one stage, they kicked 13 unanswered goals from midway through the first quarter until the end of the second.

Eade said the crucial aspect was that they were able to better the Swans in the physical aspects of the game, such as winning the contested ball and tackling.

Significantly, he said they were able to win comfortably despite numerous key players underperforming.

"(Jason Akermanis) and Matthew Boyd have probably been our two best players this year and they didn't have great games, Lindsay Gilbee didn't play well, Ryan Griffen didn't play well," Eade said.

"To have four of our best seven or eight players not play well and be able to win by that much was a really pleasing aspect."

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