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VFL Preview: Round 19 v North Ballarat

St Kilda rookie Nick O'Kearney has been a ball magnet in the VFL this season.

Plenty of Saints will be out to impress in the VFL this weekend when Sandringham travels down the highway to take on North Ballarat in the last game of the season.


Where: Mars Stadium, Ballarat

When: Saturday, 26 August

Time: 1pm

Conditions: Overcast all day with a top of 12 degrees in Ballarat.

Last time they met:

Sandringham 12.6 (78) def. North Ballarat 9.10 (64) at Trevor Barker Oval, round four 2017.

Goals: Marshall 3, Long 2, McCartin 2, Freeman, O’Kearney, Rice, Thompson, Weickhardt.

Best: Lonie, Dunstan, Savage, Marshall, McKenzie.

Form guide:

Sandringham will miss the finals for the first time in two years following a three-game losing streak, which included last week’s 70-point loss to Richmond at Punt Road Oval. It has been a tough ten weeks for the Zebras, who’ve only managed three wins in that time. VFL coach Lindsay Gilbee will want a strong finish to 2017 and win number eight for the season on the Roosters’ home deck.

North Ballarat has endured a horror season, languishing on the bottom of the VFL ladder with only one win to show for the 2017 campaign. The standalone Roosters have lost their past four games with a 1-9 win-loss record in the past ten weeks that makes for worrying reading. 

Selected team:

B: 61 D.Joyce 68 B.Miller 13 J.Noone

HB: 9 M.Cook 20 E.Le Grice 75 B.Rice

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

HF: 7 C.Rich 36 J.Battle 1 D.Weickhardt

F: 62 R.Connellan 77 R.Marshall 71 L.Pierce

R: 69 J.Holmes 63 N.O’Kearney 34 B.Long

Int: 35 H.Brayshaw, 21 J.Fox, 16 M.Hayes, 46 R.Hayward, 32 J.Lonie

Players to watch:


Nick O’Kearney

The talented 20-year-old has enjoyed a very consistent season averaging 26 disposals per game at Sandringham this year. In a bad day for the Zebras last week, the pacy midfielder picked up 31 disposals in the big loss to Richmond.

Lewis Pierce

With three St Kilda ruckman in the Sandringham line up most weeks, the Zebras have found a key defensive role for the developing ruckman where he has impressed in recent weeks. A shining light in last week’s loss to Richmond, the 202cm Pierce kept Tigers’ spearhead Ben Griffiths goal less and pulled in five marks in the defensive fifty.


Andrew Hooper

The Roosters’ best player in the close loss to Coburg last week, the ex-Western Bulldog bagged five majors along with 17 disposals to almost drag his side across the line at Piranha Park. Tough and clever around the goals, the Zebras will need to play close attention to the goal sneak.

Lachlan George

Another to feature prominently for the Roosters last round, George finished with 19 disposals and three goals to his name in a close contest away from home. He showed his class and ability to get the football in his hands but hitting the scoreboard like he did provides coach Marc Greig with some flexibility in his side.