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Monday, September 24, 2018

AFL grand final 2018: Tom Barrass ready to try and stop man-mountain Mason Cox

West Coast Eagles defender Tom Barrass will be given the unenviable task of trying to stop American sensation Mason Cox in Saturday's AFL grand final.
Thankfully for Barrass he will be able to call upon Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield as well.
Magpie Cox was the story of the AFL preliminary final weekend as he stunned Richmond to advance Collingwood to the grand final.
The big Texan kicked three goals and had eight contested marks.
West Coast overcame Collingwood in a tight qualifying final at Optus Stadium and on that night, Barrass was superb in holding Cox to four kicks, two marks and no score.
But it was a totally different Cox against the Tigers last Friday, and Barrass is hoping to keep him in check by using his length to try and stop him from getting a clear run at the ball.
"Because he's so tall and has such long arms, he can reach the ball at the highest point but it's about working together as a back-line to put yourselves in positions to impact the footy," Barrass said.
"I think you have to look at both games and what you did well, and where Richmond might have failed a little bit.
"He's a quality player and he might lack a little bit of consistency as you do early on in your career, but he's shown everyone and silenced the critics that he's a real force to be reckoned with. He played really well so congratulations to him," said Barrass.
Part of Barrass' confidence in getting the job done against Cox is that he'll have the support of fellow defenders McGovern and Schofield.
"What we do well as a back-line is help each other out so I think it's a real benefit having those two by my side," Barrass said.
"They've taught me a lot about my game personally and they have different aspects to each of them. I'm really looking forward to going out into battle with them."
Barrass will play his 51st AFL game in Saturday's grand final and the 22-year-old is willing to dream of what winning a flag would be like while not forgetting Brad Sheppard, Nic Naitanui and Andrew Gaff who won't be there.
"Personally for me it's quite saddening and upsetting to see some of those boys miss out on playing in a grand final but it happens every year.
"It will be sad for them if we do happen to win the grand final which is the plan, but they aren't going to be the first people to ever go through that situation."


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