At a glance:

  • A near full-strength Saints squared off against each other as competition for Round 2 spots heats up.
  • Max King booted three goals, while Dan Hannebery showed signs he's closing in on his best.
  • Selection headaches loom in defence, where both back sixes lined up with plenty of AFL experience.

It was mate against mate on Saturday as the Saints stepped things up another notch ahead of the Round 2 clash against the Dogs.

Rowan Marshall and Paddy Ryder went head-to-head in the ruck, with Ryan Abbott also spending considerable time in the middle.

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At their feet, Jack Billings, Zak Jones and Hunter Clark squared off against Dan Hannebery, Bradley Hill and Luke Dunstan.

Hannebery was one of the standouts in the lengthy hit-out, kicking the first goal and racking up touches throughout.

Dan Hannebery showed he's returning to his best.

Max King had Dougal Howard for company, with both men having their moments.

King kicked three, including one impressive display of his aerial prowess, while Howard’s closing speed and leap stifled other opportunities.

Jack Lonie kicked the goal of the day, a check-side snap from the pocket, but the biggest cheer was saved for category B rookie Sam Alabakis, who booted a major in the final term.

Seb Ross found plenty of the ball and Nick Hind turned on the jets, while youngster Ryan Byrnes again showed he wasn’t out of his depth through the middle.

Nick Coffield’s emergence continued, teaming up with Cal Wilkie to take several intercept marks, while Jonathon Marsh put his hand up to be part of a new-look forward line.

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Big man Jake Carlisle sat out the session with a cold, one of only a few Saints not to take part in the full dress rehearsal.

Tim Membrey and Jack Steele completed a gruelling session ahead of the main group's appearance on the track, but both are considered in no doubt for Round 2.

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The biggest selection headache looms in defence, where both back sixes lined up with plenty of AFL experience.

Jimmy Webster reminded the coaching staff of his ability with several piercing kicks inside, while Dylan Roberton and Josh Battle mopped up at their respective ends.

With veterans Shane Savage and Nathan Brown also influential, the Saints' depth provides the coaching staff with plenty of options ahead of the season-restart.