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Sammy’s VFL Review: Round 13

Saints Sam Gilbert and Josh Bruce were both influential in Sandringham's upset win over the 'Borough. - St Kilda Saints,VFL,Josh Bruce,Tom Hickey,Darren Minchington,Nathan Freeman,Ed Phillips,Rowan Marshall,Nathan Wright
Saints Sam Gilbert and Josh Bruce were both influential in Sandringham's upset win over the 'Borough.
I still think Minchington can be a consistent AFL performer, he just needs consistency with his body.
Aaron Hamill

Sandringham Senior Coach and St Kilda Specialist Coach Aaron Hamill has his say on the Saints’ best performers in the VFL.

Tom Hickey 59 hit-outs, 18 kicks, 16 handballs, six marks, seven tackles

Tommy had 7 clearances himself. It was his presence on the deck and in the air – he took five contested marks – so he had certainly influenced the game from a stoppage point of view, and he was able to support his defence, which was the most pleasing part of his game.

READ: Hickey instrumental in upset

Nathan Wright (3.0) 12 kicks, four handballs, four marks, six tackles

Wrighty was really good in terms of his role with elite frontline pressure, and he showed his ability to reset and get back in and provide a really good contest at ground level. He was excellent on the back of our talls bringing the ball to ground, and he was able to convert his work.

Josh Bruce (3.1) Eight kicks, eight handballs, seven marks, two tackles

Brucey competed really well in the air for us to either win or halve the contest. Port only marked it twice in our forward 50m, which has been a bit of an Achilles Heel for us. Stemming from Brucey’s contest work, we were able to lay 28 front-half tackles, so that goes hand-in-hand with Josh’s work in the air.

Logan Austin Eight kicks, nine handballs, four marks

Logan was one of our best. Some of his positioning on Jordan Lisle, who’s their best forward, was really good, and he probably played one of his better games that I’ve seen him play. He used his man as a starting point and then went to work, and he’s developing really well. The form that he’s in now after that game will hold him in good stead.

Rowan Marshall's strong performance puts him in the mix for AFL selection.

Rowan Marshall (1.1) 13 kicks, 10 handballs, nine marks, eight tackles

Rowan’s ability to win or halve the contest was very impressive and gave our smalls some ball to go to work on. He played his part, and he’s certainly in the mix after another very good game as a forward for us.

Sam Gilbert 14 kicks, four handballs, six marks, four tackles

Gilbo is a ripper. You know what you’re going to get when you’re driving to the game – you know that from a defensive point of view, Gilbo’s going to hold you up really well and keep that stability there. To have him there is really good for the younger blokes to lean on and learn from, and I know they really enjoy playing with Gilbo.

READ: Two Saints in team of the week

Darren Minchington (2.0) 16 kicks, 9 handballs, one mark, five tackles

Meaty certainly stands out at VFL level. Some of the taps he was able to get from Tom obviously helped, but you’ve still got to have the ability to create the space and then use it, and he was quite damaging around stoppage. I still think Minchington can be a consistent AFL performer, he just needs consistency with his body and hopefully now he can get a good run at it.

Jack Lonie (2.1) 11 kicks, eight handballs, two marks, eight tackles

Jack’s effort and his attitude were first class, with a heap of grunt, tackles and speedwork, and his positioning around stoppage was very good. Some of his frontline positioning was as good as you’ll see from a small forward, sort of Stephen Milne stuff, and I think Jack at his best can certainly add value to the AFL program.

WATCH: Highlights v Melbourne

Nathan Freeman 10 kicks, 10 handballs, four marks, five tackles

It’s just good to see Freeza get a bit of continuity. He took two contested marks and he was pretty clever in his positioning, but his ability to read the cues and get back and support was really good. He’s improving, there’s no doubt about that, and we think he can go, so who knows what the back of the season will hold for him.

Ed Phillips (1.0) Nine kicks, 11 handballs, three marks, five tackles

Ed played wing all day, basically doing what he was doing at AFL level in terms of running the lanes for us and getting back. He’d be the first to admit that he let himself down against Williamstown, so for him to respond like that was pleasing. If he keeps absorbing information and learning, it’ll hold him in good stead.