Veteran St Kilda defender Sam Fisher is set to miss the clash with AFL champions Hawthorn and continue his recovery from a hamstring issue in the VFL.
Veteran St Kilda defender Sam Fisher won’t be considered for the daunting AFL clash with reigning champions Hawthorn, instead playing in the VFL on Sunday.
Ahead of his team’s MCG clash on Saturday, Saints coach Alan Richardson said Fisher missed his chance for a recall and needed another game with their affiliate Sandringham as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
“He travelled with us to New Zealand and we were really hopeful he would be able to play but he didn’t quite come up in the training sessions,” said Richardson.
“He’s a really important player but he has missed too much footy now, so he’ll play VFL (with) fairly significant minutes and he might be a chance for the following week.”
The Saints will need to make a change to the team that lost to the Brisbane Lions, with rookie half-forward Eli Templeton suffering a broken arm that could rule him out for the rest of the season.
St Kilda suffered a three-point loss in Wellington, left ruing another poor start.
Richardson is looking for his team to rebound in the way they did after their 89-point loss to Adelaide in round four.
“We had a really disappointing game against the Crows and responded really well against the Bombers the week after,” he said.
“I would be surprised if we didn’t respond strongly in terms of our energy and effort, particularly early in the game against the Hawks.’
Skipper Nick Riewoldt was held to one goal against the Lions and will need to lead by example under the attention of Josh Gibson.
“He didn’t have a great game but he, like the team, responded in terms of him wanting to get the team over the line late,” said Richardson.
“He seems to be in pretty good shape and I’m expecting him to be strong again this one.”
Richardson said the young Saints’ priority against Hawthorn was defence.
“Their rebound is as good, if not better, than any team in the competition,” he said.
“If we don’t get our team defence strong, we’ll struggle to keep them to a losing score.”