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The St Kilda Saints travel to Cairns desperate to keep their flickering finals hopes alive in a clash with the Adelaide Crows. Follow along with the action from up north with live scores on The Roar from 7:25pm (AEST).
Sitting twelfth with a 5-7 record, the Saints’ season isn’t dead just yet. With a number of teams, most notably Sydney, looking suddenly vulnerable in the top eight, last season’s big improvers could well salvage their campaign with a strong second half of the year.
However, their upcoming bye hasn’t come quickly enough for them to avoid carnage, with experienced pair Seb Ross and Tim Membrey opting to stay with young children in Melbourne rather than make the trip north. It opens the door for fringe small forward Jack Lonie to have another go at nailing down his spot in the best team, while the much-maligned Ben Long and backup ruckman Paul Hunter also return to the line-up.
Look for Jack Higgins to be out for redemption after an inaccurate match in front of the big sticks in the Saints’ Round 12 loss to Sydney. The former Tiger’s bag of one goal and six behinds, including twice missing the go-ahead major in the dying minutes, likely cost himself best-on-ground honours, if not his side the match as well. More than any other Saint, Higgins will want to make amends here.
The Crows are reeling from a disappointing loss of their own last week, an upset 5-point loss at home to the struggling Collingwood. Having toppled ladder-leaders Melbourne as well as Geelong at their Adelaide Oval fortress this year, the defeat summed up what’s become a topsy-turvy campaign for last season’s wooden spooners.
Defender Josh Worrell will debut in Cairns, while youngsters Lachlan Sholl and Ronin O’Connor have paid the price for the Pies’ defeat. Like Higgins, veteran Taylor Walker was crucially inaccurate last week, and the big Texan will be out to atone with another match-winning haul, to continue his quest for a maiden All-Australian jumper.
Opening bounce: 7:25pm (AEST)
Venue: Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns
TV: Fox Footy, Channel Seven (VIC/TAS/SA/NT), 7mate (QLD, WA)
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go
Betting: Saints $1.85, Crows $1.99 (odds via PlayUp)
St Kilda Saints
B: 21 Ben Long, 44 Callum Wilkie, 20 Dougal Howard
HB: 29 Jimmy Webster, 35 Jack Sinclair, 1 Nick Coffield
C: 8 Bradley Hill, 9 Jack Steele (c), 15 Jack Billings
HF: 16 Dan Butler, 26 Josh Battle, 22 Jack Higgins
F: 32 Mason Wood, 12 Max King, 13 Jack Lonie
FOLL: 18 Paddy Ryder, 5 Brad Crouch, 7 Luke Dunstan
INT: 11 Hunter Clark, 31 Ryan Byrnes, 34 Tom Highmore, 41 Paul Hunter
EMG: 23 Jack Bytel, 37 Leo Connelly, 38 Oscar Clavarino, 39 Darragh Joyce
IN: Ben Long, Jack Lonie, Paul Hunter, Tom Highmore (R12 medical sub)
OUT: Jarryn Geary, Oscar Clavarino, Sebastian Ross, Tim Membrey
B: 39 Tom Doedee, 41 Jordon Butts, 1 Chayce Jones
HB: 33 Brodie Smith, 8 Jake Kelly, 24 Josh Worrell
C: 14 David Mackay, 2 Ben Keays, 11 Paul Seedsman
HF: 25 Ned McHenry, 13 Taylor Walker, 21 Sam Berry
F: 23 Shane McAdam, 7 Riley Thilthorpe, 31 James Rowe
FOLL: 43 Reilly O’Brien, 29 Rory Laird, 9 Rory Sloane (c)
INT: 17 Will Hamill, 26 Harry Schoenberg, 32 Darcy Fogarty, 36 Andrew McPherson
EMG: 6 Jackson Hately, 34 Elliott Himmelberg, 37 Ronin O’Connor, 38 Lachlan Sholl
IN: Sam Berry, Josh Worrell (debut)
OUT: Lachlan Sholl, Ronin O’Connor, Nick Murray (R12 medical sub)