Pressure rising on Bulldogs' AFL stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pressure rising on Bulldogs' AFL stars

Sam Lienert 29/05/2011 09:31:42 PM Comments (0)

The pressure is mounting on Western Bulldogs stars Barry Hall, Brian Lake and Lindsay Gilbee to find form, after they failed to fire against Hawthorn on Sunday.

Hall, back from an ankle injury for his first AFL match since round five, looked badly out of sorts.

He was thrashed in his duel with Hawks defender Josh Gibson, gathering just two touches and no goals and looking increasingly frustrated, before being subbed off early in the second half.

The Dogs' attack had only managed three goals by that time, but lifted afterwards.

Coach Rodney Eade said the 33-year-old had jarred the ankle that had troubled him earlier in the year, although might still play against Geelong at Skilled Stadium on Saturday.

"He was a bit rusty obviously, he got his hands to a few, but then we thought it was best for his sake to sub him off," Eade said of Hall.

The coach said while the injury was not major, Hall would need to be able to train all week to play against the Cats, given the football he has missed.

Lake, who had an injury-hampered pre-season and has spent the past few weeks in the VFL trying to find form and fitness, was a shadow of the All-Australian fullback of the past two seasons.

But he improved as the game went on and Eade saw enough to want to keep him in the senior side.

"He was very rusty, he fumbled a bit here and there, but I was pleased with his workrate," Eade said.

"I thought in the second half he really pushed up as a defender and manned up really well, his workrate was there.

"He's such a quality player, we've just got to keep playing him."

Eade also found some positives in Gilbee's game, despite the defender managing just eight touches and no tackles, after getting a late reprieve from the selection axe.

"I thought he tried hard. He probably didn't play as well as he has in previous years, but at least the effort was there."

But he said it was too early to say whether Gilbee remained in dangerof being dropped.

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