Stopping Lake a key for Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stopping Lake a key for Blues

By Sam Lienert 08/07/2010 07:44:17 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten says devising ways to counter the impact of Western Bulldogs fullback Brian Lake will be critical in Sunday's AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

The match is crucial, with both sides on 8-6 records, sitting in fifth and sixth spots, with the Bulldogs ahead on percentage.

Lake was superb in the Dogs' narrow loss to Hawthorn last round, picking up a heap of the ball against Hawks star Lance Franklin to be his side's best player.

Ratten said the Blues' match committee had been busy deciding whether to instruct a forward simply to try to blanket Lake, or whether to use his opponent in a more dangerous role.

"Lake is a real key to them and how do you absorb him and make him responsible for someone, or how do you use his opponent to maybe get into the game, he's in fantastic form," Ratten said.

"Even last week against probably the best forward in the competition, he was outstanding, so he's pretty critical to their team."

He even threw up the unlikely option of sticking Blues midfield superstar Chris Judd up forward to try to cause Lake some trouble.

"I don't know what Juddy's doing this week, but we might throw him down there to see if he can soak up Brian," Ratten said.

Meanwhile, Ratten said Carlton would consider playing with Sam Jacobs as their sole ruckman later this season if neither Shaun Hampson or Robert Warnock could nail down the support role.

Hampson was given his first game of the season last round, after No.1 ruckman Matthew Kreuzer sustained a season-ending knee injury against Fremantle in the previous round, but failed to impress.

Warnock has not played in the senior team, since showing unremarkable form in the first five rounds.

But Ratten said Jacobs had shown since Kreuzer went down that he had the fitness to do the job singlehandedly, if need be.

"When Matthew hurt his knee, Sam pretty much did all the ruckwork, he did 90 per cent, so for him to take that next leap, sometimes players need to be exposed in certain areas," Ratten said.

"He's a dour type ruckman but his fitness level is through the roof, he can just run all day."

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