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VFL Preview: Round 16 v Casey

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09:  Nicholas Ryan of Footscray (R) and Nicholas O'Kearney of Sandringham chase the ball during the round 12 VFL match between Sandringham and Footscray at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on July 9, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media)
St KIlda rookie Nick O'Kearney has been of Sandringham's most consistent players this season.

Plenty of Saints will be out to impress in the VFL this weekend when Sandringham hosts the Casey Demons at Trevor Barker Oval.


Where: Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham

When: Saturday, 5 August

Time: 2pm

Conditions: Clear blue skies and sunshine with a forecast top of 13 degrees.


Form guide:

Sandringham hosts on Melbourne-aligned Casey Demons in their final game at Beach Rd for the season, with wins crucial to qualify for the VFL finals series. With only two games separating third-placed Richmond all the way down the ladder to where the Zebras sit in tenth, every result is critical. It was a tough loss to the ladder leaders Box Hill last round, but shows Sandringham the level they must reach to be a premiership contender.

The Casey Demons are in good form having won seven of their past ten games, proving they’ll be tough to beat in another challenge for the Zebras. With only one game separating a spot in the top four, the Demons will be out to prove they’re no one hit wonder after making the grand final last year.

Selected team:

B: 50 R.Atkins 20 E.Le Rice 13 J.Noone

HB: 14 T.Grace 71 L.Pierce 1 D.Weickhardt

C: 70 D.McKenzie 2 K.Answerth 39 E.Phillips

HF: 34 B.Long 36 J.Battle 7 C.Rich

F: 62 R.Connellan 77 R.Marshall 69 J.Holmes

R: 30 T.Hickey 32 J.Lonie 63 N.O’Kearney

Int: 51 B.Bailey, 41 H.Brayshaw, 9 M.Cook, 6 J.Fisscher, 16 M.Hayes

Players to watch:


Ray Connellan

The first-year international rookie has impressed in recent weeks, relishing his role as a small forward to have five goals to his name in the past fortnight. One of the shining lights in the loss to Box Hill, the 23-year-old used his blistering pace and pressure inside 50 to finish with two goals. The Zebras will need Connellan to continue his solid form against the Demons on Saturday.

Nick O’Kearney

Arguably the most consistent Zebra this year, the second-year Saint is still eyeing an AFL debut and continues to press his case following a 35-disposal game in the loss to Box Hill last Sunday. The 20-year-old is averaging 26 disposals and four tackles per game at VFL level and has become a key runner in Lindsay Gilbee’s team. The wingman’s ball use and run will again be needed if the Zebras are to beat the seventh-placed Demons.


Sam Weideman

The 20-year-old key forward was prolific in Casey’s win over Coburg last round, kicking three goals and finishing with 21 disposals and eight marks. The Melbourne-listed big man is widely expected to develop into a top-line forward at AFL level and if his current VFL form is anything to go by, expect his rise to continue.

Angus Brayshaw

One of the Demons’ best in the win over the Lions, Brayshaw finished with 24 disposals to be one of the key instigators through the midfield. After a series of concussions, Brayshaw eclipsed his VFL games average of 16 disposals and looks to be getting back to his best football. The 21-year-old will again be a key midfielder the Zebras will need to put some time into.