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VFL Preview: Round 7

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14:  Nicholas O'Kearney of Sandringham runs during the 2017 VFL round 05 match between the Coburg Lions and the Sandringham Zebras at Piranha Park on May 14, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)
Young St Kilda-listed midfielder Nick O’Kearney has impressed at VFL level in recent weeks.

A host of regular senior players will be out to impress when Sandringham takes on Collingwood on Sunday.

Key forward Josh Bruce and midfielder Luke Dunstan will be hoping to make an impression after being left out of the Saints' Round 10 side but failing to have a significant impact at VFL level.

The duo have been entrenched in the senior side over the past two seasons and know a strong performance on Sunday could see them back in the mix to take on Adelaide in Round 12.

Darren Minchington is another hoping for a strong showing after two quiet matches for the Saints in the losses to Sydney and the Western Bulldogs. The small forward returns to Sandirngham where he has continually demonstrated an ability to hit the scoreboard in recent seasons.


Collingwood v Sandringham

Where: Victoria Park, Collingwood

When: Sunday, 4 June

Time: 12pm

Conditions: Clear blue skies and sunshine is forecast for Sunday afternoon, reaching a predicted top of 14 degrees.

Coverage: Follow VFL reporter Justin Cooper on Twitter: @justinr_cooper for scores and updates. Remember to keep on eye on post-game for a full match report.

Last time they met:

Sandringham 17.11 (113) def. Collingwood 12.21 (93) at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Round 3, 2017.

Goals: McCartin 7, Marshall 2, Lonie 2, Long, Savage, Answerth, Cook, Dunstan, Weickhardt.

Best: McCartin, Lonie, Savage, Rice, Wright, Dunstan.

Form guide:

Sandringham has slipped to seventh following two successive losses and most recently the 98-point loss to Footscray last Saturday night. In a game that VFL coach Lindsay Gilbee described as “most un-Sandringham like”, the Zebras will be focused on a return to the winner’s list knowing they’ve already had a win over the Magpies this year.

In contrast, Collingwood has endured a season to forget thus far having lost their past five games and their only win for 2017 coming in round one against Coburg. The Magpies have come close in recent weeks, evidenced by the round six loss to Box Hill where Jared Rivers’ side led by five points at three quarter time.

Selected team:

B: 61. D. Joyce, 37. H. Goddard, 1. D. Weickhardt

HB: 75. B. Rice, 73. N. Coughlan, 65. B. White

C: 62. R.  Connellan, 41. D.  Minchington, 63. N.  O’Kearney

HF: 36. J. Battle, 77. R. Marshall, 76. N. Wright

F: 32. J. Lonie, 40. J. Bruce, 34. B. Long

R: 30. T. Hickey, 64. L. Dunstan, 33. N. Freeman

Int: 78. J. Baker-Thomas, 69. J. Holmes, 25. N. Scagliarini, 2. K. Answerth, 3. L. Verma, 16. M. Hayes, 27. N. Smith, 9. M. Cook

23P: 44. H. Brayshaw

Players to watch:


Jack Lonie

One of the few Zebras to continue his strong VFL form in the heavy loss to Footscray, the AFL-listed Lonie finished with 31 disposals, six tackles and two goals at Whitten Oval. The 20-year-old has had opportunity to play through the midfield in recent weeks with the likes of Koby Stevens, Darren Minchington and Jack Sinclair in the St Kilda team. 

Nick O’Kearney

The young St Kilda-listed midfielder has been one of the shining lights for VFL coach Lindsay Gilbee, finishing with 27 disposals and six tackles against Footscray after a 29-disposal effort against the Northern Blues a week earlier. The 20-year-old is yet to make his AFL debut but with more consistent performances at VFL level, the more he’ll attract the eye of Alan Richardson.


Jarryd Blair

Omitted from Nathan Buckley’s AFL side, the 2012 premiership player will play a pivotal role for Jared Rivers’ Collingwood side at Victoria Park. The 27-year-old is expected to play predominantly forward where his speed off the mark and nous around the goals provides the Magpies with a genuine match winner.

Josh Thomas

One of the best in the loss to Box Hill in round six, Thomas kicked two goals and picked up 31 disposals in a standout performance. The 25-year-old will be crucial in the Pies’ engine room on Sunday, given his ball-winning ability in close along with his talents infront of goal.