Carey says Hall can still be niggled - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carey says Hall can still be niggled

By Daniel Brettig 16/03/2010 03:10:16 PM Comments (0)

Keep up the constant niggle and see what happens.

That's the considered opinion of Wayne Carey for those defenders who may have been disheartened by Barry Hall's remarkably serene displays with the Western Bulldogs in the AFL NAB Cup.

Hall was noteworthy for both his goals and his attitude throughout as the Bulldogs won their first piece of silverware in four decades.

So calm did Hall appear that his mother went as far as describing him as "placid" since he returned to Melbourne following an eventful stint in Sydney with the Swans.

Carey argued that Hall would face more unwanted attention during the premiership season, and reckoned that he would have taken a relentless approach if ever asked to stand the key forward.

"In general I think you just continually niggle, continually keep pushing him while the ball's up the other end, continually keep pushing him under the ball, continually bumping him, maybe talking to him, that type of thing," Carey told the sports website BackPageLead.com.au.

"And it doesn't have to be necessarily anything derogatory, but just continual chatter and talk, might be about what he got up to a couple of days prior to the weekend or whatever, just to take his focus off what he's there to do.

"I'm sure he'll get plenty of that. He's certainly going to cop some, no doubt about that, probably most of it against Sydney - they might say 'why are you doing this now when you couldn't do that for us', that's something they might say.

"He's going to be tested more in the season proper than he was in the (pre-season) cup, there were a couple of little niggles, you saw (Luke Hodge) have a go at him and a couple of others when they played the other week, and that's going to be intensified once the real stuff starts.

"They're going to put him under the pressure to lose his cool, and let's hope that he has cooled his jets."

Some have mused that Hall's outstanding early form - which included 17 goals in three games - may have been wasted on matches of little importance, but Carey disagreed.

"That type of form going into a season is good for you, a lot of people say you waste games in the (pre-season) cup playing well, I don't believe in that, I think the fact (is) he's in good nick, he looks super fit," he said.

Carey and Hall sparred occasionally when the former was North Melbourne captain and the latter a young firebrand with St Kilda.

In the 1997 preliminary final between the clubs, Hall spent time standing Carey at centre half-back and on one occasion late in the game stood intimidatingly over a prone Carey after tackling him across the boundary line.

"There's one place that I don't think I've ever been intimidated and that's on the football field," Carey recalled.

"You've got 45 million cameras around and 50-100,000 people watching you, so you're pretty safe I would think."

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