AFL Bulldogs go for pace against Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Bulldogs go for pace against Eagles

Greg Buckle 29/07/2011 06:37:48 PM Comments (0)

West Coast may hold a height advantage but the Western Bulldogs plan to be snapping at their heels in Saturday's AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

Ruckman Ben Hudson says the Bulldogs plan to apply suffocating forward pressure through pint-sized pups Luke Dahlhaus and Andrew Hooper.

Tall forward Ed Barlow, an ex-Swan who has played 30 matches and averages 17 disposals in his four games this year, is another possible wildcard for the 12th-placed Bulldogs who have made seven changes in a desperate attempt to keep their finals hopes alive.

Hudson said the performances of Barlow and the pacy duo of Dahlhaus, 18, and Hooper, 20, showed the Bulldogs were heading in the right direction.

"His form prior to that finger injury was really good," Hudson said of Barlow, 24.

"Along with Lukey Dahlhaus (178cm and 72kg) and Andrew Hooper (172cm and 79kg), they have been some positives to come out of the year.

"Being able to blood some younger players and give them some experience at the AFL level has been terrific for the future of the club, so hopefully those guys can take their chances again on Saturday.

"Lukey's enthusiasm has been great. With his shining dreads, he has become a cult hero already.

"The buzz and the confidence that the older guys and everyone in the team have got from him coming in has been a great spark to the side.

"He makes us all look slow.

"His ability to stay in the contest and keep his feet and keep pressure on the ball and if he's not in the contest, that perceived pressure has been great for the forward-line."

Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney is one of three Bulldogs to miss the Eagles game through injury, alongside Shaun Higgins and Nathan Djerrkura.

Lindsay Gilbee, Lukas Markovic, Dylan Addison and forward Jarrad Grant were dropped.

Justin Sherman has been recalled after serving a four-week ban for racial abuse, while Barlow, Brennan Stack, James Mulligan, Jordan Roughead, Ryan Hargrave and creative half-back Robert Murphy also return.

Fifth-placed West Coast have rested ruckman Nic Naitanui because of general soreness and key forward Josh Kennedy (eye) is also absent.

Hudson, 32, had been steeling himself to take on Dean Cox and Naitanui but says his job remains a difficult one.

"A lot of time and effort goes into preparing for both ruckmen. But at the same time you certainly know Cox can hold the ruck on his own," Hudson said.

The Eagles promoted 202cm debutant Scott Lycett to partner Cox, while Hudson will be joined by Roughead.

"With `Roughy' coming in, I might go forward which is rare for me," Hudson said.

Hudson, whose playing future is uncertain beyond 2011, said he was keen to lock horns with Cox all day long if that's what's required.

"I'll stay out there as long as I have to really. Ruckmen like to stay in the middle for as long as they can," Hudson said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news