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VFL: Saturday night lights for Zebras

Justin Cooper  May 26, 2017 11:45 AM

Nathan Freeman has been finding a bit of the ball at Sandringham.

Nathan Freeman has been finding a bit of the ball at Sandringham.

Where: Whitten Oval, Footscray

When: Saturday, 27 May

Time: 7pm

Conditions: Partly cloudy with a top of 17 degrees throughout the day and dropping to a nightly low of nine degrees.

Last time they met:

Sandringham 18.9 (117) def. Footscray 12.17 (89) at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Round 2, 2016.

Goals: Kreymborg 4, Curren 3, Membrey 2, Shenton 2, Pierce 2, Answerth, Cook, Gresham, Templeton, Longer.

Best: Kreymborg, Curren, Gresham, Templeton, Goddard.

Form guide:

Sandringham dropped to fifth following the 42-point loss to the in-form Northern Blues last week, taking the season tally to 4-2 and just one game out of the top four. Sandringham Coach Lindsay Gilbee labelled the result a measure of inconsistencies and lapses across the four quarters. Gilbee will also be without Nathan Wright (concussion) and Shane Savage, who has been rewarded for strong VFL form to play for St Kilda on Saturday afternoon.

In the opposition stakes, Footscray lost narrowly to Geelong at Whitten Oval last round and will be looking for their fourth win of the season on Saturday night. The Bulldogs currently sit eighth and boast a wealth of AFL experience that is sure to test the Zebras. 

Selected team:

B: 1. D. Weickhardt, 73. N. Coughlan, 16. M. Hayes

HB: 75. B. Rice, 37. H. Goddard, 65. B. White

C: 2. K.  Answerth, 32. J.  Lonie, 9. M.  Cook

HF: 63. N. O’Kearney, 77. R. Marshall, 36. J. Battle

F: 49. J. Sziller, 40. J. Bruce, 34. B. Long

R: 69. J. Holmes, 64. L. Dunstan, 33. N. Freeman

Int: 61. D. Joyce, 14. T. Grace, 25. N. Scagliarini, 71. L. Pierce, 28. C. Cathcart, 3. L. Verma, 7. C. Rich, 26. J. Wallace

23P: 44. H. Brayshaw

Players to watch:

SANDRINGHAM

Luke Dunstan

A welcome inclusion to the Sandringham line-up on Saturday night, the tough midfielder will be a key cog in the Zebras’ engine room and may go head-to-head with Tom Liberatore in the centre square. Dunstan will also be out to perform well in a bid for an AFL recall, so expect the St Kilda ball winner to assert himself on the contest.

Nathan Freeman

The pacy midfielder has been a consistent performer in recent weeks, gathering 21 disposals and laying six tackles against the Northern Blues. The 21-year-old ex-Pie is averaging 14 disposals and four tackles at VFL level this season and appears to be getting continuity in his football. With the likes of Jack Sinclair, Darren Minchington and Shane Savage in the St Kilda team, Freeman’s speed and ball-winning ability will be crucial on Saturday night. 

FOOTSCRAY

Toby McLean

Arguably the Bulldogs’ best in the 12-point loss to Geelong, McLean picked up 26 disposals and laid a game-high 17 tackles. His pressure around the ball working alongside Tom Liberatore will be vital if the Dogs are to make the most of their home advantage.

Jordan Russell

The former Carlton and Collingwood-listed player was another the among the Bulldogs’ best last round, picking up a game-high 27 disposals against the Cats. The Footscray skipper uses the ball well and is an aggressive player who can do some damage if Sandringham aren’t switched on.

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