Saints and Roos fight for September

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday July 1, 4.40pm
LAST TIME: St Kilda 19.21 (135) defeated North Melbourne 10.10 (70), round 23, 2011 at Etihad Stadium

 

With both teams clinging to finals hopes, this Sunday’s clash is crucial.

 

North Melbourne and St Kilda are set to do battle in what looms as one of their most important games for the season. The Saints are hanging on to a spot in the top 8, and the inconsistent Kangaroos are looking go to one spot better from 2011 and make the finals.
North Melbourne have been a hard team to predict this season. They’ve suffered shock losses to Port Adelaide, been thrashed from pillar to post by Hawthorn and have been pushed by the Gold Coast Suns twice in their two games. But in 2012 they seem to have addressed their biggest issue from the previous two years – they can take it up to top teams. Their defeats of Geelong and Adelaide, both aspiring top 4 sides, have been outstanding and prove they have the quality.
Meanwhile the Saints still seem to be in a settling period with their new coach, Scott Watters. The biggest and most obvious turnaround has been their scoring prowess; no longer are they the team who is miserly in both attack and defence. They have been one of the highest scoring teams this year and their forward line has proven to be a revelation, with champion Nick Riewoldt regaining some of his best form and suffering high draft pick Justin Koschitzke putting up some impressive displays.
St Kilda assistant coach Dean Laidley may prove to be a valuable asset as he knows this current Kangaroos side like the back of his hand having previously coached there. On top of this the Kangaroos haven’t beaten the Saints in current coach Brad Scott’s tenure at the club. They came agonisingly close early last season before being belted in round 23 to end their finals hopes for 2011.
Both forward lines pose headaches for the respective opposition, but the Roos seem to be on to a good thing with their attack of Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas and Robbie Tarrant. Expect them to stick with this and rely on their defence to stop the big Saints forwards as well as their army of smalls and midfielders.

 

The Rundown

St Kilda: Big man Rhys Stanley has come in for small forward Terry Milera, perhaps pointing to a Saints team more focused on beating North Melbourne with a traditional attack. Stanley’s help in the ruck will no doubt be a boon against opposition rucks like Todd Goldstein, who seems to have regained his fantastic 2011 form.
North Melbourne: North have seemed to go almost in the opposite direction, bringing in speedy forward Matt Campbell to replace highly touted midfielder Ben Cunnington. Whether the move is a good one remains to be seen, as the Saints defence is stretched against talls but adept against smalls.

 

Prediction

It’s a hard one to call due to the Kangaroos inconsistent performances, but one would expect the Saints elite core and experience will triumph in this all important game which may shape September for the two sides.

Saints by 16

 

 

Teams:

St Kilda
B: Jarryn Geary, Jason Blake, James Gwilt
HB: Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Brendon Goddard, David Armitage, Jason Gram
HF: Nick Dal Santo, Nick Riewoldt, Adam Schneider
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Jack Steven
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Raphael Clarke, Clinton Jones, Rhys Stanley, Arryn Siposs

In: Rhys Stanley
Out: Terry Milera

North Melbourne
B: Scott McMahon, Scott Thompson, Michael Firrito
HB: Shaun Atley, Nathan Grima, Jamie Macmillan
C: Ryan Bastinac, Daniel Wells, Samuel Wright
HF: Brent Harvey, Robert Tarrant, Leigh Adams
F: Lachlan Hansen, Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Andrew Swallow, Jack Ziebell
I/C: Matt Campbell, Liam Anthony, Kieran Harper, Sam Gibson
Emg: Cruize Garlett, Ben Cunnington, Will Sierakowski

In: Matt Campbell
Out: Ben Cunnington

North Melbourne and St Kilda are set to do battle in what looms as one of their most important games for the season. The Saints are hanging on to a spot in the top 8, and the inconsistent Kangaroos are looking go to one spot better from 2011 and make the finals.

North Melbourne have been a hard team to predict this season. They’ve suffered shock losses to Port Adelaide, been thrashed from pillar to post by Hawthorn and have been pushed by the Gold Coast Suns twice in their two games. But in 2012 they seem to have addressed their biggest issue from the previous two years – they can take it up to top teams. Their defeats of Geelong and Adelaide, both aspiring top 4 sides, have been outstanding and prove they have the quality.

Meanwhile the Saints still seem to be in a settling period with their new coach, Scott Watters. The biggest and most obvious turnaround has been their scoring prowess; no longer are they the team who is miserly in both attack and defence. They have been one of the highest scoring teams this year and their forward line has proven to be a revelation, with champion Nick Riewoldt regaining some of his best form and suffering high draft pick Justin Koschitzke putting up some impressive displays.

St Kilda assistant coach Dean Laidley may prove to be a valuable asset as he knows this current Kangaroos side like the back of his hand having previously coached there. On top of this the Kangaroos haven’t beaten the Saints in current coach Brad Scott’s tenure at the club. They came agonisingly close early last season before being belted in round 23 to end their finals hopes for 2011.

Both forward lines pose headaches for the respective opposition, but the Roos seem to be on to a good thing with their attack of Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas and Robbie Tarrant. Expect them to stick with this and rely on their defence to stop the big Saints forwards as well as their army of smalls and midfielders.

The Rundown

St Kilda: Big man Rhys Stanley has come in for small forward Terry Milera, perhaps pointing to a Saints team more focused on beating North Melbourne with a traditional attack. Stanley’s help in the ruck will no doubt be a boon against opposition rucks like Todd Goldstein, who seems to have regained his fantastic 2011 form.

North Melbourne: North have seemed to go almost in the opposite direction, bringing in speedy forward Matt Campbell to replace highly touted midfielder Ben Cunnington. Whether the move is a good one remains to be seen, as the Saints defence is stretched against talls but adept against smalls.

Prediction

It’s a hard one to call due to the Kangaroos inconsistent performances, but one would expect the Saints elite core and experience will triumph in this all important game which may shape September for the two sides.

Saints by 16

Teams:

St Kilda
B: Jarryn Geary, Jason Blake, James Gwilt
HB: Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Brendon Goddard, David Armitage, Jason Gram
HF: Nick Dal Santo, Nick Riewoldt, Adam Schneider
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Jack Steven
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Raphael Clarke, Clinton Jones, Rhys Stanley, Arryn Siposs

In: Rhys Stanley
Out: Terry Milera

North Melbourne
B: Scott McMahon, Scott Thompson, Michael Firrito
HB: Shaun Atley, Nathan Grima, Jamie Macmillan
C: Ryan Bastinac, Daniel Wells, Samuel Wright
HF: Brent Harvey, Robert Tarrant, Leigh Adams
F: Lachlan Hansen, Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Andrew Swallow, Jack Ziebell
I/C: Matt Campbell, Liam Anthony, Kieran Harper, Sam Gibson
Emg: Cruize Garlett, Ben Cunnington, Will Sierakowski

In: Matt Campbell
Out: Ben Cunnington

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