Tough-tackler Campbell the key for Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tough-tackler Campbell the key for Hawks

By Melissa Woods 13/06/2009 09:59:44 AM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says the defensive effort of hard-tackling Robert Campbell will be a key to stopping Brisbane at Aurora Stadium on Sunday.

But the Lions were left scratching their heads on how to stop the Hawks after classy fullback Daniel Merrett failed to overcome a long-term ankle complaint.

Versatile ruckman Campbell has become a linchpin of the Hawks' defence following their huge injury toll in that department this season.

Clarkson said Campbell, who was integral in shutting down Swans' big man Barry Hall in their win last round, would need to stand up against the Lions in Launceston.

He said the reliable Campbell would be given the job of stopping Lions giants Jonathon Brown or Daniel Bradshaw.

"With the absence of (Trent) Croad and (Stephen) Gilham we've had to use Campo in those types of roles throughout the year.

"He acquitted himself pretty well against Barry Hall last week so depending on where they start and how they position themselves, Bradshaw and Brown, you'd think at some point in the game he'd have to tackle one of those two big beasts.

"If he does a good job it's going to help us enormously to win the game because they rely on those two big guys to generate a lot of their scores and they channel a lot of football through when they go forward."

However, the Lions were dealt a blow when Merrett failed to pull up after training this week in a bid to make a comeback two weeks earlier than expected against the Hawks.

Lions defender Jason Roe received a late call-up on Friday morning.

In further blow, veteran midfielder Travis Johnstone also pulled the pin after hurting his back at training.

The absence of another key defender Josh Drummond (calf) makes way for the return of Roe and Troy Selwood.

Selwood has been named in the senior side for the first time since being concussed in the team's round seven clash against Richmond.

Aaron Cornelius has been elevated as an emergency together with fellow draftees Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff.

Despite the loss of Merrett, Clarkson said the jury was out on how Lions coach Michael Voss would use Bradshaw.

While considered one of the Lions' most destructive forwards, Bradshaw has been used with success in defence to fill the gaping hole left behind by Merrett, Drummond and Joel Patfull (jaw).

"Bradshaw is obviously a key focal point for them and last week's game Brisbane (against Carlton) probably got themselves back into the game a little bit when they had both their tall players in Brown and Bradshaw up forward so we'd have to wait and see," he said.

"We'll have a contingency plan for both scenarios."

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