Saints Need A Miracle

Hayden Ballantyne - Fremantle Dockers
Hayden Ballantyne will miss this weekend's clash through suspension. Image courtesy of Wilkins

AFL St Kilda Saints Logo

St Kilda v Fremantle

Etihad Stadium

Saturday July 19 – 4:40 PM (AEST)




Fremantle Dockers Logo

St Kilda must hold their nerve when the in-form Fremantle Dockers come to town ready to play.

The Saints season seems to go from bad to worse, to dismal, to atrocious, to embarrassing, to … you get my drift. I’m beginning to run out of adjectives to describe how terrible they’ve been this season. Week in, week out they are blown off the park, even by weak opposition. Last week’s 59-point loss to the Roos was the latest of a St Kilda losing streak which will extend to 12 matches on the weekend. Champion midfielder and club legend Lenny Hayes announced his intentions to retire at the season’s end earlier this week. The 34-year-old has enjoyed a successful 16 year career, and it’s a shame his career will end on such a demoralising note. This week’s match will be one of the most challenging of the year, and Alan Richardson may opt to call on experience for the clash. Clint Jones seemed to be everywhere in his state league match on the weekend. The hard-working midfielder added 34 possessions to his goal on Saturday and is a strong chance for a first team recall.

Fremantle are beginning to look like flag winners right now. The Dockers stretched their winning streak to eight last week when they demolished GWS by 76 points at home. Hayden Ballentyne was superb in front of goal for the Westerners on Sunday, but his notorious short temper landed him in hot water once again. Ballantyne finished with a handful of goals at Patersons Stadium, but it was his punch on Giants defender Tomas Bugg which overshadowed his performance. The energetic forward has been a large part of Freo’s success so far this season, but he will miss this weekend’s clash after accepting a one-match suspension. Matthew Pavlich was also on hand for the Dockers on Sunday as he returned from illness to boot a hat-trick of goals. Luke McPharlin missed the match with a strained calf, but he is expected to slot back into the line-up come Saturday.

Fremantle were classy against GWS last week and they should beat St Kilda by a similar, if not, bigger margin this weekend. The Saints have been woeful all season, but surprisingly it was the Dockers on the wrong end of a 71-point hiding in last year’s correlating fixture. But these two teams are vastly different to the sides which met 10 months ago, and Freo, the competition’s in-form team, will run the hapless Sainters off the park. In fact, this should resemble a training run for the purple haze.

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Nick's Tip: Fremantle -58.5

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