Barry Hall? He's Luxury! say the 'Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barry Hall? He's Luxury! say the 'Dogs

By Roger Vaughan 27/02/2010 02:09:28 PM Comments (0)

Luxury is a term rarely associated with the Western Bulldogs, too often the AFL's battlers.

It's even less common for big, bad, bustling Barry Hall to be referred to as a luxury item.

But assistant coach Paul Williams was using that word to describe the effect that Hall's arrival is having on them.

Hall had an outstanding debut for the Bulldogs in Friday night's 57-point win in their NAB Cup quarter-final against Hawthorn, kicking six goals.

While the Bulldogs have made the last two preliminary finals, it was clear they needed a big brute of a key forward in their side to challenge for the premiership.

If Hall can keep his notorious on-field temper in check, he fits the bill perfectly.

"The beauty about having a big bloke is when you're under a pressure a little bit, when you actually have a little bit of heat around you when you have the footy," Williams said.

"To have someone where you can dump the ball into a particular area and know he's a chance to mark it, (it's) a nice luxury.

"We now have a luxury, that the next time we play, if they go Hall-conscious, then (Shaun) Higgins is going to get out.

"So someone will get out if they go too much to the big fella."

Naturally, all the focus was on Hall's debut, but Williams was more pleased with the Bulldogs' relentless pressure.

They had 82 tackles to the Hawks' 49.

"He (Hall) ticked every box that we wanted him to do, but it was more the pressure and the actual effort from everyone that was the most pleasing," Williams said.

"Barry will get a lot of kudos and you guys (media) will get quite excited by it, but I thought the whole team's intensity at making it hard for Hawthorn was outstanding.

"(The tackling) was a highlight for me, that was the biggest thing I've taken out of the game and we were very, very pleased with them in that area - that aspect is really important.

"It's something we've been working on over the last couple of years, our defensive skills, and that was really good tonight."

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was suitably impressed and did not miss the chance to talk about the Bulldogs' premiership aspirations.

"They showed with Hall in their side they've got a focal point that perhaps they've been searching for," he said.

"They look in pretty good nick, the 'Dogs.

"I wouldn't suggest there would be too many who would think the Western Bulldogs aren't going to be in the top four this year and maybe even the top two and challenging for the flag.

"So for our young lads to get that sort of exposure against a pretty tidy outfit tonight is pretty good for them."

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