Eagles ready for AFL speedster Yarran - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles ready for AFL speedster Yarran

Justin Chadwick 15/09/2011 02:43:39 PM Comments (0)

After being cut to shreds by Collingwood defender Leon Davis last week, West Coast will try to reverse the trend by exposing Carlton rebounder Chris Yarran in Saturday night's AFL semi-final in Perth.

Davis tallied 33 possessions and combined with fellow dashers Heath Shaw and Harry O'Brien to continually pump the ball out of defence in the Magpies' 20-point qualifying final victory over West Coast.

Yarran plays a similar role to Davis and was prominent in the Blues' elimination final win over Essendon, breaking the lines at every opportunity on the way to 22 touches.

The 20-year-old is set to be given the job on either Mark Nicoski or Mark LeCras this week, and the Eagles hope an accurate supply of forward 50m entries could expose Yarran if he goes on any of his trademark runs.

"It's all about trying to use the easy option (going forward) and sometimes you can use his man or you might try and drag him out of play," Eagles defender Shannon Hurn said.

"It's just about using the ball well."

West Coast coach John Worsfold said Yarran wouldn't have it all his own way this weekend.

"He's their go-to player in the backline and likes to run and carry the ball so we know what he plays like," Worsfold said.

"His job is to try and stop our forwards kicking goals as well.

"I would expect (he) won't be loose that often, he'll be on a man."

Carlton coach Brett Ratten insists the bulk of the pressure is on West Coast as the Eagles try to avoid a straight sets exit from the finals.

But Hurn said West Coast's inexperienced squad weren't fazed by the high-stakes nature of the match.

"It's about the pressure you put on yourself," Hurn said.

"So if you want to go into this week thinking it's be all and end all, you tense up a bit and sometimes make some bad decisions and then the game's gone away from you.

"The hardest thing I think is to back yourself and be confident and know your roles in the structures and have belief in them, that they will work.

"(Whether it's) round one or the last game, you've just got to have that belief."

Eagles forward Josh Kennedy took a step away from the pressure-cooker environment this week by teaming up with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of WA to help revitalise the organisation's Fern River Facility in Wilson as part of a new charity project.

"It's a great cause and hopefully I can help build the awareness and get people to donate some money," said Kennedy, who became an MS ambassador earlier this year.

"There's no cure for MS so all the money that is raised goes towards research to find that cure."

Kennedy arrived at the Eagles as part of the trade that saw Judd link up with Carlton in 2007, but said he would refrain from starting a text message war with his ex-Blues teammates in the lead-up to Saturday's match.

"I'm going to keep it under wraps this week. Wait till after the game," Kennedy said with a laugh.

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