Where and When: Metricon Stadium, Saturday 9 June, 4:40 pm
St Kilda will be looking to push further towards the top eight as they travel to Metricon Stadium to take on the winless Gold Coast Suns.
In an odd feature to the fixture, it is the second time the teams have met this year, as St Kilda thumped Gold Coast by 92 points in round two at Etihad Stadium.
Both teams are coming off losses – in Gold Coast’s case, they’ve come off ten – and you can be sure that both teams will be hungry for a win.
There’s no doubt that Gold Coast have been poor this year – after three wins last year, they’ve failed to register one this season.
They may boast Gary Ablett, arguably the best player in the competition, and gun youngsters such as Harley Bennell, Sam Day and Josh Caddy, but they seem to lack the form and confidence to string a four-quarter performance together.
With impressive recruit Kyal Horsley rested this week, the Suns regain Jared Brennan, Josh Toy, Brandon Matera and Seb Tape.
But when you consider that they’re averaging 65 points for and 115 against so far this season, and that they’re coming up against a side still full of champions such as St Kilda, it’s going to be an incredibly tough task for them to topple them especially given that they are winless at Metricon Stadium.
After a hard-fought loss to Richmond, St Kilda will be looking to maintain a positive win-loss record and will be looking to grab every win they can.
Sitting 5-5 and on the cusp of the eight, the Saints have a real chance to boost their percentage and threaten the lower section of the top eight.
Although in the latter stages of their careers, champions such as Nick Riewoldt, Brendon Goddard, Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo are all still in great form.
Combined with the exciting youth that Ahmed Saad, Terry Milera, Jack Steven and Jamie Cripps come to the table, they clearly have the stronger side coming into the match.
Players to Watch
Gary Ablett: Ablett won 53 disposals last week and there’s no doubt he’s in fantastic form. How Gold Coast and how he responds to the criticism that the players were too happy to pass it to him will be interesting to watch.
Nick Riewoldt: The opposing captain kicked four goals in his last match and taught the young Suns’ defenders a lesson. If he can back that up with another strong performance it goes a long way to ensuring victory.
St Kilda on paper and on form are the far superior side, and I don’t see how Gold Coast have the firepower through the midfield and forward line to come out with the four points.
I think it’s a matter of how much St Kilda will win by rather than if they will.
St Kilda by 57 points
FB: Seb Tape, Matthew Warnock, Danny Stanley
HB: Sam Iles, Rory Thompson, Trent McKenzie,
C: Michael Rischitelli, Karmichael Hunt, Alex Sexton
HF: Harley Bennell, Jared Brennan, Andrew McQualter
FF: Matt Shaw, Sam Day, Luke Russell
Fol: Tom Hickey, Josh Caddy, Gary Ablett
Int: Josh Toy, Campbell Brown, Brandon Matera, Aaron Hall
In: Jared Brennan, Josh Toy, Brandon Matera, Seb Tape
Out: Alik Magin, Joel Wilkinson, Tom Lynch (Foot), Kyal Horsley (Rested)
B: Jason Gram, Sam Gilbert, Tom Simpkin
HB: Sean Dempster, James Gwilt, Brendon Goddard
C: David Armitage, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Jack Steven, Nick Riewoldt, Terry Milera
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Ahmed Saad
Foll: Jason Blake, Leigh Montagna, Clinton Jones
I/C: Farren Ray, Jamie Cripps, Arryn Siposs, Jack Newnes
Emg: Raphael Clarke, Adam Schneider, Beau Wilkes