Barry Hall set to face Suns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barry Hall set to face Suns

By Guy Hand 06/04/2011 05:55:55 PM Comments (0)

Battered AFL newcomers Gold Coast won't be spared a weekend monstering by Barry Hall if the giant forward is fit.

Hamstring tightness forced Hall out of Western Bulldogs training on Wednesday.

But coach Rodney Eade said he was on track to play in Saturday's clash with the Suns at Etihad Stadium.

Eade said there was no chance of the Dogs resting the veteran spearhead despite the AFL's 17th club looking like a virtual early season bye for opponents on the evidence of their 20-goal debut hammering by Carlton.

"Nothing to do with the opposition. We have the bye the next week, so we need to play as many as we can," Eade said when asked if he would consider resting Hall even if he was 100 per cent fit.

"Like any player, you are not going to take any risks if there is any doubt.

"He's improved a lot but he's still a bit tight in the hamstring. He'll play at this stage."

Hall was substituted late in the Dogs' 78-point win over Brisbane last weekend with the hamstring problem.

His looming presence - and the prospect of breaking the 700-goal milestone against the Suns - will put more pressure on code-switcher Karmichael Hunt and a defence which struggled badly last weekend.

The Suns must also contend with the Bulldogs adding important defenders Brian Lake and Lindsay Gilbee - both of whom return from injury for their first AFL matches of the season.

Eade confirmed the pair would play after both proved their fitness in recent reserves matches.

"Brian's had four games now at (VFL club) Williamstown, he's right to go and Lindsay's form was really good last week."

The Bulldogs bounced back from their own round one nightmare - a 55-point beating by Essendon - to peak form against the Lions.

And Eade said there would be no complacency against the Suns, whom he expects to improve markedly on Saturday.

"They'll be better for the run, they've got a lot of young lads who've got the talent, and they'll get used to the pace of the game.

"A few of their senior players hadn't had a run up to the weekend and it's a big game to throw them in.

"It's just going to be a learning curve for them."

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