St Kilda Senior Coach Brett Ratten has said that his side are expecting a fierce contest on Saturday afternoon, as the Saints host Hawthorn for the Blue Ribbon Cup at Marvel Stadium.

The Saints are looking to get back onto the winner’s list, but Ratten told the media on Thursday that an in-form Hawks would be no walk in the park.

“I think when you play Hawthorn at any stage it’s challenging,” Ratten said.

“It’s going to be an important game for them, but it is for us as well.

“They need to keep winning, and we need to get back on the winners list, so it should be a great battle.”

In line to face the Hawks will be Paddy Ryder and Jimmy Webster, with Ratten confirming that both were set to return to the side. 

Paddy Ryder is set for a return to the side. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

“(Ryder) is ready to go. He said it’s great to be back.”

“It’s been a while for him, playing senior footy since last year in that final against the Bulldogs.”

Young Ryan Byrnes also remains a chance to be named in the 22, following another solid showing in the VFL last Saturday.

“He’s pretty close,” Ratten said of Byrnes.

“We’ve got to go in and debate that now. He’s one of the talking points.”

Following an intense training session at RSEA Park, Ratten said that the Saints would be looking to bring that same type of pressure to the game. 

09:16 Mins
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'We've got expectations on how we want to play': Ratten ahead of Round 7

Senior Coach Brett Ratten spoke to the media this morning ahead of our Round 7 clash against Hawthorn on Saturday

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“There was a little bit more intensity (at training), without the ball, with the ball, and a bit more urgency around our communication and what we are trying to achieve.”

“We made a bit of a focus on that today, and you can only get that type of rehearsal at training, and then see if we can transfer it to Marvel on Saturday.”

One of the AFL’s longest standing traditions, the Blue Ribbon Cup was first established in 2000 as a tribute to Victoria Police members Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller who were killed in the line of duty in 1998.

The game aims to encourage the public of Victoria to remember the sacrifice of officers who have fallen, and show all current serving members of the Victoria Police that their work and commitment is valued.

Players, coaches and on-field staff from both the Hawks and the Saints will wear blue and white checked armbands as a show of respect, while players will receive commemorative Blue-Ribbon medals at the end of the match.

The best player from each team (voted by the opposing club’s president) will also be awarded the Silk-Miller Memorial Medals.