Kangaroos to make Hale work for AFL duty - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos to make Hale work for AFL duty

By Sam Lienert 17/06/2010 04:49:26 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott will shun the chance to add fit-again David Hale to his attack to face Port Adelaide on Sunday, preferring to make the tall forward work for a senior AFL berth.

Hale, second behind small forward Lindsay Thomas on the Kangaroos' goal tally this season, missed last Friday night's upset of Carlton with a back injury.

With fellow marking forward Drew Petrie out indefinitely with a foot fracture, Hale was expected to slot straight back into the side against Port at Etihad Stadium.

But with the `Roos kicking 14 goals without either key forward against the Blues, Scott said he was happy to go with the current structure.

"'Haley' is fit and available to play and he'll have to force his way back into the side," Scott said.

"Probably the last two games he's played, he wouldn't have played as well as he would have liked, but that was a reflection on the whole team as well, he wasn't alone in that.

"But the fact is sometimes you can be unlucky, you can be injured, the team plays really well and you can't get your spot back.

"So that's the case for Haley this week, but he'll go back and I'm sure he'll acquit himself well at North Ballarat (in the VFL) and try to force himself back into the side."

Scott said Thomas could expect extra attention, after kicking 7.5 against the Blues, and was likely to face a tough battle with Power backman Jacob Surjan.

"Surjan's a very good defender and has been in good form the last couple of years," Scott said.

"Whether it's him or another Port defender, Lindsay's going to have to be on his game.

"But we're just after him to continue his role for the team.

"He got the rewards last week and we're hopeful if he doesn't this week, another player will."

He said Thomas' contribution to the team amounted to more than just goals, with his defensive performance also superb against the Blues.

The Kangaroos can make it three straight wins for the first time this season if they down the struggling Power.

But Scott said they needed to avoid a mental lapse after their best win of the year.

"(Port) are a very proud club and will come out swinging this week, so we've got to be right on our game," he said.

"Just because we've had a nine-day break and we feel physically fresher, mentally we've got to be absolutely switched on."

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