Preview R1 v St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium (Sunday, March 24)

GC2015

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I've spoken to a few Saints fans about this one and they are genuinely worried we might upset them in round 1. Despite what some may think, we actually start the season quite well historically (last 5 years - 2018: 16 point win v North, 2017: 2 point loss v Brisbane, 2016: 61 point win v Essendon, 2015: 26 point loss v Melbourne, 2014: 18 point win v Richmond). Will we see a King v King match up? Will Rankine and Lukosius light up Marvel Stadium on debut? How will the new mature aged recruits go? Have we sufficiently covered the loss of May with experienced talls? Will McLennan play ahead of Joyce? Will Wright go to the next level that we all know he's capable of now that he's our number one forward? Will Jack Martin finally realise his enormous potential? Will Jack Bowes breakout in this game? Have Ainsworth and Brodie improved? Will Touk and Lachie continue the form which saw them finish top 3 in our B&F? Can Hanley finally get his body right? Does Witts have suitable back up to rest in the forward line for a few minutes? Has Harbrow begun to decline physically? Is Rischitelli a best 22 player? So many questions to be answered!

Anyone want to have an early crack at the 22 we'll select for this one?
 

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Iva Bigun

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#2
I've spoken to a few Saints fans about this one and they are genuinely worried we might upset them in round 1. Despite what some may think, we actually start the season quite well historically (last 5 years - 2018: 16 point win v North, 2017: 2 point loss v Brisbane, 2016: 61 point win v Essendon, 2015: 26 point loss v Melbourne, 2014: 18 point win v Richmond). Will we see a King v King match up? Will Rankine and Lukosius light up Marvel Stadium on debut? How will the new mature aged recruits go? Have we sufficiently covered the loss of May with experienced talls? Will McLennan play ahead of Joyce? Will Wright go to the next level that we all know he's capable of now that he's our number one forward? Will Jack Martin finally realise his enormous potential? Will Jack Bowes breakout in this game? Have Ainsworth and Brodie improved? Will Touk and Lachie continue the form which saw them finish top 3 in our B&F? Can Hanley finally get his body right? Does Witts have suitable back up to rest in the forward line for a few minutes? Has Harbrow begun to decline physically? Is Rischitelli a best 22 player? So many questions to be answered!

Anyone want to have an early crack at the 22 we'll select for this one?
I think the only thing we know for certain is Tom Nichols will be out injured
 
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17er

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#4
I've spoken to a few Saints fans about this one and they are genuinely worried we might upset them in round 1. Despite what some may think, we actually start the season quite well historically (last 5 years - 2018: 16 point win v North, 2017: 2 point loss v Brisbane, 2016: 61 point win v Essendon, 2015: 26 point loss v Melbourne, 2014: 18 point win v Richmond). Will we see a King v King match up? Will Rankine and Lukosius light up Marvel Stadium on debut? How will the new mature aged recruits go? Have we sufficiently covered the loss of May with experienced talls? Will McLennan play ahead of Joyce? Will Wright go to the next level that we all know he's capable of now that he's our number one forward? Will Jack Martin finally realise his enormous potential? Will Jack Bowes breakout in this game? Have Ainsworth and Brodie improved? Will Touk and Lachie continue the form which saw them finish top 3 in our B&F? Can Hanley finally get his body right? Does Witts have suitable back up to rest in the forward line for a few minutes? Has Harbrow begun to decline physically? Is Rischitelli a best 22 player? So many questions to be answered!

Anyone want to have an early crack at the 22 we'll select for this one?
Yes, the Suns do start each season strongly until injury takes its toll. I think we'll have the Saints handily in this one. They have purged 9 mature players and brought in 2 mature players plus 7 kids in the Draft. They will play Max King if he is fit, whereas, the Suns will only play Ben King if he's earned best 22 selection - playing them on each other first up would mess with their heads too, so better leave that match up for when they can process it with more maturity. Besides, I fully expect Ben King to be Full Forward in the NEAFL. I also want Rankine and Lukosius to play, with the former to stay in forward 50 and the latter on the wing. Don't know that McLennan gets his debut here though. Wright will be backed up with a good forward line of Rankine, Sexton, Day, MacPherson and Martin, with some midfield rotation cameos from Ainsworth and Swallow.

The Jack Martin question is very important. I personally think that his potential has been stifled by the players around him. When the Suns were up and about in 2014, he was just beginning to show what he could do. Then when the wheels fell off over the next couple of seasons he was moved all over the place. Being on his 3rd coach at such a young age hasn't helped his development either, so you just hope he is given a role that can produce results for both him as a player and the team as a whole. I believe it's in the forward line, with some run through the midfield as needed.

Bowes, Ainsworth and Brodie are set for massive years. These guys should just be stuffed into the midfield and watch them blossom. They got burned a lot last year, but I think a lot of that came down to lack of outside talent and the general inability of the team to finish off games. Those things will change with the new recruits and development of our younger players.

The old fellas are integral to this list because there just aren't very many of them. Harbs and Hanley have yet to make a convincing backline combination, but they have a blank canvas here to form a group that can defend against heavy attack and rebound given the opportunity. Sounds simple, but how often do you see the Suns defence get pressed into a back flank, unable to find a marking player outside 50 and eventually broken open by the opponents' sheer pressure?

The number 1 thing I'm looking forward to is the new rules. 6-6-6 means more open spaces and I believe it will require more running, especially by the ruckman. This will likely mean Witts doing less in order to keep him fresh to finish out games. Day and Wright can both chop out, but it begs the question of how many big men play? Will it be 2 tall forwards, 2 tall backs and a ruckman? If so, then we'll have a really tall NEAFL team. I'm in favour of shock and awe with 7 or 8 talls, with Day, Wright, Ballard, Lukosius, Thompson, Collins, Hombsch and Witts all able to play in the same team given their talent and attributes.
 

mad-saint-guy

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#8
Yes, the Suns do start each season strongly until injury takes its toll. I think we'll have the Saints handily in this one. They have purged 9 mature players and brought in 2 mature players plus 7 kids in the Draft. They will play Max King if he is fit, whereas, the Suns will only play Ben King if he's earned best 22 selection
Not sure where you're getting any of these ideas from. We traded in 2 senior players, recruited 4 mature players from state leagues and drafted 2 kids. Max King is close to zero chance of playing round one. He's very slowly and cautiously recovering from a serious knee injury and we have Bruce, Membrey, McCartin, Marshall and Battle all vying for a spot as a key forward.

I'd like to see what a potential 22 from the Suns looks like. Here's my very early guess at St Kilda's 22 - not my preference, but rather what I think the coaches will select. Note that Nathan Brown is suspended for round 1

B: Webster, Austin, Geary
HB: McKenzie, Carlisle, Roberton
C: Hannebery, Steele, Billings
HF: Kent, Bruce, Gresham
F: Long, McCartin, Membrey

Foll: Longer, Steven, Ross
Int: Acres, Clark, Newnes, Sinclair
 

gcsunsfc

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#9
Not sure where you're getting any of these ideas from. We traded in 2 senior players, recruited 4 mature players from state leagues and drafted 2 kids. Max King is close to zero chance of playing round one. He's very slowly and cautiously recovering from a serious knee injury and we have Bruce, Membrey, McCartin, Marshall and Battle all vying for a spot as a key forward.

I'd like to see what a potential 22 from the Suns looks like. Here's my very early guess at St Kilda's 22 - not my preference, but rather what I think the coaches will select. Note that Nathan Brown is suspended for round 1

B: Webster, Austin, Geary
HB: McKenzie, Carlisle, Roberton
C: Hannebery, Steele, Billings
HF: Kent, Bruce, Gresham
F: Long, McCartin, Membrey

Foll: Longer, Steven, Ross
Int: Acres, Clark, Newnes, Sinclair
Doesn't look bad on paper.
Hard to match up with last years performances given only 2 new members - obviously injuries resulted in many of the best 22 not playing full seasons.

Edit
https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/best-22-for-2019.1207552/page-10 - link to best 22 thread

Something like this

Harbrow Thompson Ballard
Weller Collins Hanley
Fiorini Swallow Bowes
Martin Day Corbett
Rankine Wright Ainsworth

Witts Miller Brodie

Lukosius Sexton Murdoch Macpherspn

In the mix: Ah Chee, King, Holman, Young, Hombsch, Joyce, GHS, Miles, Burgess
 
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