Shepparton News

Bulldogs know what to expect from Stringer

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Melbourne: Lachie Hunter has thought outside the box regarding how best to curb the influence of good friend and former teammate Jake Stringer in Sunday’s eliminatio­n final.

“I messaged Jake earlier this week and told him I was going to check him into a tier-one site, so he might be out for this week. We had a laugh,” Western Bulldogs on-baller Hunter quipped.

“He’s obviously a damaging player. He’s probably in the form of his career, (similar to) what he was doing here when he was at the peak of his powers … he’s one we’ll have to watch.”

Essendon star Stringer’s battle with his 2016 premiershi­p teammates shapes as an entertaini­ng subplot in Launceston.

Stringer has been a pivotal part of the Bombers’ season-ending streak of three wins, which secured the final spot in the top eight.

Stringer’s former side have struggled in that same stretch, logging losses to Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide while surrenderi­ng a top-four spot.

Hunter yesterday insisted there were plenty of positives to draw from a finalround loss to Port – the Bulldogs led throughout the night until Robbie Gray put his team in front when it mattered most.

“It was a step in the right direction,” he said.

“There were things we could have done better but you don’t get near Port Adelaide and lose by two points without doing a few things right.

“We definitely took some confidence out of that game.

“It’s easy to look at those three weeks without looking at the whole year and accumulati­ng 15 wins. So we’ve just tried to focus on the positives while still focusing on what we need to improve.”

 ?? Picture: AAP ?? In fine form: Essendon forward Jake Stringer has returned to his best in recent weeks.
Picture: AAP In fine form: Essendon forward Jake Stringer has returned to his best in recent weeks.

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