Brisbane’s Season on the Line

Where and When: The Gabba, Saturday 14 July, 7:40 pm

brisbane lions logo st kilda logoThe Saints travel to the Gabba for what is set to be a very interesting and very much a season-defining clash with the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night.

Both teams sit just outside the eight and with a host of other teams looking to hurdle each other for spots in the finals, every game and every bit of ascendancy will be pivotal.

This game will be no exception, and with both teams in good form, it will be an equally significant clash for both sides.

Brisbane

The Lions come into the game in good form despite a heavy loss to Sydney last weekend.

With a large amount of players in impressive touch, their push up the ladder grows in confidence every week.

Their midfield is arguably underrated and very damaging, with Pearce Hanley and Dayne Zorko both stepping up to become prime figures amongst the standard class of Simon Black, Jack Redden, Tom Rockliff, Daniel Rich and others.

With the inclusions of Todd Banfield and Aaron Cornelius, both known goalkickers, they boast a potentially lethal offensive line-up.

If they can contain the Saints when they push forward and use it effectively in the other direction, with the home ground advantage, they will win this one.

St Kilda

The Saints come in as the favourites, as on paper they still have the stars that made them once so  great, but with their omissions it may not appear that they have the edge.

With Brendon Goddard already missing due to suspension, Jack Steven will join him on the sidelines after a club-enforced one-week omission due to a drink-driving offence.

With the usual names such as Nick Dal Santo, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna and David Armitage all there, they still have a strong midfield, but whether it is as good as Brisbane’s this week is a larger debate than normal.

Regardless, if they can win the battle through the centre they have the forward line to stretch any defence – Nick Riewoldt is in great form while Justin Koschitzke and Beau Wilkes provide extra tall service.

Adam Schneider, Stephen Milne, Arryn Siposs and Ahmed Saad on the other end of the spectrum as small forwards can all damage as well, and if they do you’d think the Saints would leave Brisbane with the four points.

Players to Watch

Ryan Harwood: After a fantastic game against the Demons, Harwood really does need to back it up with another good performance this Saturday. Against a potent forward line, as one of few small defenders, he has a big task and his output will be vital.

Ben McEvoy: Against an arguably lesser ruckman in Ben Hudson, McEvoy needs to prove his worth by dominating the ruck battle. With a weakened midfield, he needs to give them all the help he can muster.

Prediction

The Saints will go in as favourites, and understandably, given their track record over the season.

However, Brisbane’s line-up impresses me more, and at home and in good form, they should sneak home.

Brisbane by 15 points

Squads:

Brisbane

B: Josh Drummond, Joel Patfull, Ryan Harwood
HB: Elliot Yeo, Matt Maguire, Jed Adcock
C: Pearce Hanley, Daniel Rich, Jack Redden
HF: Jack Crisp, Jonathan Brown, Dayne Zorko
F: James Polkinghorne, Daniel Merrett, Aaron Cornelius
Foll: Ben Hudson, Tom Rockliff, Andrew Raines
I/C: Simon Black, Todd Banfield, Patrick Karnezis, Rohan Bewick
Emg: Amon Buchanan, Claye Beams, Ryan Lester

In: Simon Black, Todd Banfield, Aaron Cornelius, Matt Maguire, Elliot Yeo
Out: Cheynee Stiller, Niall McKeever, Claye Beams, Ryan Lester, Joshua Green

St Kilda

B: Jarryn Geary, Tom Simpkin, James Gwilt
HB: Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Nick Dal Santo, David Armitage, Beau Wilkes
HF: Ahmed Saad, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Arryn Siposs
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Clinton Jones, Adam Schneider, Farren Ray, Sam Dunell
Emg: Brett Peake, Jamie Cripps, Daniel Markworth

In: Sam Dunell
Out: Jack Steven (Club Suspension)
New: Sam Dunell (Bendigo Bombers/Old Melburnians)
Milestones: Jason Gram – 150 games

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *