One down, one to go.
Fresh off the back of its maiden win at Adelaide Oval, St Kilda will be looking to better its South Australian record against Port Adelaide on Saturday night.
But with the top-of-the-table Power returning to its home deck for just the second time in 2020, Brett Ratten will have plenty to ponder as he picks the line-up to topple the ladder-leaders.
Jack Sinclair has been on the precipice of senior selection every game this season.
But after being listed as an emergency for seven straight games, Sunday’s scratch match performance may just be enough to nudge him into the senior side.
Sinclair was among the best-on-ground against the Blues, even after playing just one half due to being picked as a travelling emergency for Round 7.
The midfielder’s run-and-carry on the outside and legwork around the contest were shining aspects of Sinclair’s game, as was the damage he inflicted with limited game-time.
And with an in-form Port Adelaide on the horizon, some fresh legs might just be what’s required to take home the four points.
Dan Hannebery surprised everyone late last week by entering the selection frame less than three weeks after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Now, the triple All-Australian will ramp up his case for selection ahead of the second leg of St Kilda’s South Australian expedition.
Prior to his slight hurdle, the 29-year-old was beginning to build his form and influence nicely with a healthy average of 19 touches per game.
Hannebery will be a test for Saturday’s match, but his potential inclusion would be a welcome addition against the 6-1 Power.
With Josh Battle confirmed to miss Round 8 against Port Adelaide, Jonathon Marsh could swiftly return to the senior side as the swingman’s replacement.
The former Magpie was omitted from the senior side last weekend, but pieced together a dynamic display in the ensuing practice match to remind Brett Ratten of his versatility.
Marsh spent additional minutes as an inside midfielder alongside Ed Phillips and Nicholas Hind and was also swung up forward throughout the match.
The 24-year-old could serve as the ideal replacement for Battle, with his ability to flip ends and either convert or thwart scores giving him a unique edge over the No. 26's prospective stand-ins.
Jack Bytel and Ryan Abbott pieced together their most impressive outings in last week’s scratch match against Carlton.
The pair – alongside Sinclair – were the Saints’ most prevailing forces through the midfield with Abbott’s ruckwork in particular a standout on Sunday morning.
Ed Phillips and Nicholas Hind experienced extended runs through the midfield to further their cases for selection, while the unorthodox line-up saw Dylan Roberton tried along the wing.
Key defenders Nathan Brown and Darragh Joyce alsoadded to the unconventional make-up by swinging forward to jag a goal apiece throughout the match.
In more familiar surrounds, Daniel McKenzie and Jimmy Webster were solid across half-back, while up the other end, Doulton Langlands and Matty Parker added plenty of pressure inside-50.
Draftee Leo Connolly was also impressive in the offensive half, with the youngest Saint on the list booting the opening goal of the game and performing consistently throughout.
Round 7 line-up
IN: Byrnes (new), Ryder
OUT: Long (suspension), Marsh (omitted)
|B||Jake Carlisle||Dougal Howard||Callum Wilkie|
|HB||Nick Coffield||Jarryn Geary||Hunter Clark|
|C||Jack Billings||Jack Steele||Bradley Hill|
|HF||Dan Butler||Jade Gresham||Dean Kent|
|F||Tim Membrey||Max King||Rowan Marshall|
|R||Paddy Ryder||Sebastian Ross||Zak Jones|
|INT||Ben Paton||Josh Battle||Ryan Byrnes|
|E||Jack Sinclair||Shane Savage||Jonathon Marsh|