Pearce Hanley
Pearce Hanley Chris Hyde - Getty Images

Hanley excited by Kennelly talk

LIONS midfielder Pearce Hanley admits he is excited by talk of comparisons between him and fellow Irishman, former Swans star Tadhg Kennelly.

Hanley, who gathered a career-high 34 disposals against the Swans on Saturday night, said he had studied the former Sydney defender's game during his own debut season in 2008.

"When I was in my first year, I used to always watch Tadhg's tapes and try to base my game on his," Hanley said. "I'm playing a different role at the moment, but I still like to carry the ball like he did."

Hanley was praised for his around-the-body kicking after nailing one of his three goals against Melbourne from a tight angle the previous week, a skill he said he picked up playing Gaelic football in his native country.

"You never kick the ball straight in Gaelic football," the Irishman said. "But when I first got here I worked very hard on it ... I think I've kept that going."

The Lions will take on St Kilda this Saturday night at the Gabba, with the Saints' strong forward line, featuring the likes of Nick Riewoldt, Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke and Adam Schneider, expected to pose a serious threat to the undersized Brisbane defence.

That could see Hanley move from the wing to half-back to play more of a stopping role.

Under previous coach Ross Lyon, the Saints were known for their smothering defensive style.

But with Scott Watters at the helm, they sit second (behind Hawthorn) on average goals scored per game with 16.

They did even better than that last Saturday, banging through 21 goals in their 71-point win over Essendon.

"They're in very good form at the moment ... they've got a lot of dangerous forwards," Hanley said.


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