Things about to get tough for Dew
STUART Dew faces the first big test of his coaching career with tough decisions to be made on Pearce Hanley and Aaron Hall.
The Suns' gamble on rest over surgical repair of Hanley's dislocated shoulder failed spectacularly when it popped out in the first half of his comeback game against the Dockers on Saturday.
Hanley returned to the Coast on Sunday night and will have scans on Monday.
Had he gone under the knife he would be a month into what would potentially be only a three month recovery period for an injury that was relatively minor in terms of damage.
He now faces the likelihood of another four to six weeks rest, with the significant risk he re-injures it at any stage of the season, or surgery.
"It doesn't look good, obviously in the first game back," Dew said.
"We knew going into the game that it's a chance, once they start coming out generally you do need to get them fixed (surgically) at some point.
"He could have made ten games, during this season, but given where his strength was pre-game we were pretty confident, we would never have out him out there thinking this was going to happen.''
Jack Bowes is in Perth and available for selection after serving a one-week suspension.
The decision on Hall is just as complex.
The jet-heeled winger was completely shut down but unknown rookie listed Docker Bailey Banfield in just his third game.
Seeing just five touches against Hall's name would be concerning for Dew but coaches understand a hard tag can be confronting and there is generally leeway given to allow a player to work his way through how to cope with new-found attention.
Lions coach Chris Fagan has been fully supportive of Dayne Zorko who has become a subject for opposition tags in recent times.
Zorko has yet to successfully break a tag but Fagan has been effusive in his public praise of his vice-captain because when his possession count drops his defensive intensity lifts as he searches for ways to contribute to the team.
At his best Hall is a damaging line breaker but on Saturday he wasn't just a poor contributor, he was a major defensive liability.
Having just one tackle alongside his name is far more damning than five touches and Dew had a hard time concealing his disappointment after the game.
"He had a down game Hally, he has got to bounce back from that,'' he said.
"Full credit to the young bloke in his second game, he got a big scalp.
"Hally has got to learn how to get through, yes we can help him but also Hally needs to push through that.''