Lions Look To Finish Strongly

Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
The Saints will struggle to keep Jonathan Brown quiet on Saturday night. Image courtesy of Dave Hunt/AAP
Last Five Matches

Round 16, 2012 – St Kilda 105 d Brisbane Lions 92 at The Gabba
Round 5, 2011 – St Kilda 89 d Brisbane Lions 76 at The Gabba
Round 15, 2010 – St Kilda 79 d Brisbane Lions 65 at The Gabba
Round 9, 2009 – St Kilda 97 d Brisbane Lions 81 at Etihad Stadium
Round 9, 2008 – Brisbane Lions 141 d St Kilda 95 at The Gabba


Form

     Rd 14       Rd 15       Rd 16       Rd 17       Rd 18   
Brisbane    L  W  W  W  L
St Kilda   L  L  L  L  L

Brisbane’s finals hopes went out the window on Sunday when they failed to kick more than two points with the breeze in the final term as Port Adelaide triumphed by just nine points . Given Port is sitting in eighth spot, it was a genuine eight-point game for both sides, and Michael Voss’s team gave up too many goals late in quarters to win. That defeat snapped a three-game winning streak; the club’s best of the season.

St Kilda’s year went from bad to worse when it was thumped by 101 by Geelong. The scoreline was 25-all at quarter time, but the Saints managed just 11 points from then on as the Cats completely dominated every facet of play. It was the club’s fifth loss on the trot and ninth in ten games.

Brisbane loses Brent Moloney who was one of its standouts against Port Adelaide, but regains Irishman Pearce Hanley after just a week out with a broken finger. As if St Kilda needed to lose another defender; James Gwilt is out with a knee injury, but the promising Dylan Roberton returns.


Key Men

(Lions) Jonathan Brown – Tom Hawkins is the latest key forward to enjoy St Kilda’s lack of height at the back with the Geelong big man bagging five goals at Simonds Stadium on Saturday night. Jonathan Brown hasn’t exactly been tearing games apart this year, but the Saints don’t have an obvious match-up from him. The Lions haven’t cracked the ton against the Saints since 2008, but that run should be broken this weekend.

(Saints) Clinton Jones – He’s not a big ball-winner, but after taking the mantle from Steven Baker as the Saints’ chief tagger, Clinton Jones has done a good job of stopping some of the AFL’s best. He picked up 27 possessions against the Cats in one of his best efforts of the season, but it’s his ability to limit others that stands out (especially when compared to his lack of ability using the ball by foot). His opponents averaged just 23 touches per game last season. Tom Rockliff has been Brisbane’s leading possession winner the last three games, so he may see some of Jones on Saturday night, as will Daniel Rich, who has been struggling to deal with close checking at times this year.


Prediction

St Kilda has won the past four against Brisbane, but every contest has been decided by less than three goals. The Saints were woeful on Saturday night, and it should be remembered they got towelled up by the same team, Geelong, that Brisbane shocked just a few weeks ago. The Saints’ three wins this year have come over GWS, Melbourne and an injury-ravaged Carlton. The Lions aren’t a great team, yet, but they’re a long way ahead of the Giants and Demons. Brisbane by 22 points .

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