A big task for St Kilda this afternoon as they travel west to Patersons Stadium to take on a fired up Fremantle outfit. Live scores and commentary kick off from 3.20pm AEST.
Fremantle’s bubble burst last week when they came up against one of the top teams, Geelong at their own stomping ground.
In what was a disappointing performance, especially in the third quarter where they were kept scoreless.
They were beaten at their own game by the Cats as they lost out on contested possessions and clearances, while being out-tackled for most of the game.
Let’s stop and think about how well the Dockers have played without two of their best stalwarts – Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands.
There are occasions that losing a big name can really hurt a team’s structures and can find them vulnerable, let alone having two big names out.
Fremantle has been the exact opposite.
Instead, it will be thoroughly interesting to see how Pav and Sandi assimilate back into the team.
While Dockers coach Ross Lyon will be thinking ‘one week at a time’, the fans will know the re-introduction of the likes of Pavlich, Sandilands, David Mundy and Michael Barlow is perfect with a contest against their cross-town rivals, the West Coast Eagles, the biggest thing on their minds.
This week is the perfect time to get these big names back into the line-up, because there is nothing the Freo fans want more than to have this team humming and inflicting more pain on their ‘older cousins’.
Defence will be the key for the Dockers again today – they boast the best defensive structure in the league, have conceded the least amount of points throughout the year and give up just 60 points per game at home.
It’s all about constant pressure and a crazed fanaticism at the ball, something the Saints know all about.
Besides, it was their strategy too when Lyon was coaching the Saints in their heyday.
Those moments of greatness have now passed, and what’s left are massive question marks over the careers of many of these players.
Current coach Scott Watters has been at pains to say that the club is indeed going through tough times and is in the process of rebuilding.
That’s a warning if any for those passengers that have been cruising inside the system for too long.
Today’s a perfect opportunity to show they belong.
Now it’s not to say they have to win to prove that.
But their recent record at Patersons Stadium suggests that the runners love this ground to bits and should thrive on the wide expanses.
Nick Riewoldt’s 2013 despite not getting the support and delivery from his team mates has still be one of his best.
He’ll be hoping his midfielders can do the right thing by him and give him a fighting chance this afternoon with some decent kicking into the forward line.