Cooney in doubt for Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooney in doubt for Bulldogs

By John Salvado 11/08/2010 03:44:00 PM Comments (0)

Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney is among a handful of ill Western Bulldogs players in serious doubt for Saturday night's big AFL clash against Geelong.

The Bulldogs have been hit by a bronchial virus, with forwards Shaun Higgins and Robert Murphy and running defender Jarrod Harbrow all late withdrawals for Sunday's win over Adelaide.

Although the Bulldogs expect Higgins and Murphy to recover in time and return against the Cats, Cooney is now in serious doubt.

He missed training on Wednesday along with Murphy, defenders Dale Morris and Lindsay Gilbee and utility Brodie Moles, all of whom were sent home by the coaching staff.

But while Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade is again expecting illness to rule out a couple of important players against the Cats, the ledger should be balanced by some significant inclusions.

"(Callan) Ward will come in and Higgins looks like he will play as well and Murph hopefully will, so we've obviously got three reasonable inclusions," said Eade, who is also battling the virus that has swept through the club.

"What we're doing at the moment is preparing the team as though most if not all of the players will play and we'll work it out from there."

The Bulldogs had a victory at the tribunal on Tuesday night, with promising young ruckman Jordan Roughead having a rough conduct charge thrown out.

"We could have taken the early plea and the reprimand with 90-odd points but it's a lot of points to carry over, especially for a guy who plays in the ruck and plays a reasonably physical game," said Eade.

Roughead has impressed in his first year of senior football, forcing Will Minson to cool his heels in the VFL in recent weeks.

Eade confirmed on Wednesday he would not squeeze three ruckmen into the team, meaning Roughead and Minson are effectively battling it out for the support role behind Ben Hudson for the upcoming finals series.

The second-placed Cats are coming off a comprehensive loss to Collingwood, while the Bulldogs shored up fourth spot on the ladder with the eight-point victory over the Crows.

Geelong have copped some rare criticism after the loss, with many feeling the 22-point margin was not a true reflection of the Magpies' superiority.

Not that Eade was falling into the trap of taking the reigning premiers lightly.

"They've had a great record over the last three or four seasons and we certainly know how a good side they are," he said.

"They don't lose too many so obviously they're going to be smarting from that.

"It's more about our guys and the way we go about it.

"Our form's been pretty good over the last eight weeks, we'll take a bit of confidence into the game."

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