20/04/2024
Rowan Marshall Round 7

Rowan Marshall will return for St Kilda on Friday night. (Image: St Kilda FC)

Rowan Marshall is one of three key Saints who will return on Friday night as St Kilda fight to keep their fading finals hopes alive

Rowan Marshall will return for St Kilda’s clash with Richmond at the MCG on Friday night as Brett Ratten implores his charges to find their communication on the field. Ratten says it’s one of the keys the Saints had been missing in the weeks before the bye.

Marshall is one of three key Saints returning for St Kilda on Friday night, he will be joined by Tim Membrey and Seb Ross after both opting out of the clubs recent trip to Cairns for family reasons.

After their last-minute loss to the Crows before the bye, the Saints sit 13th on the ladder, two games outside the top eight.

They will now put fading finals hopes to the test in a rematch against the Tigers, as they look to avenge their early season embarrassment to the tune of an 86 point loss back in round five.

There was plenty of voice out on the training track at Moorabbin this morning, as Ratten and his coaching staff implored the Saints to find the fun in football.

“Sometimes when you are playing alright footy but not fulfilling what you want to do, you can sort of get down a little bit. I think the break has helped us re-energise,” Ratten told media on Wednesday.

“It’s something that we’ve been missing for a while, that communication.

“That was evident against Adelaide in the last quarter. We went inside our shell and didn’t communicate like we did for three quarters and we paid the price for it.

“There’s been an emphasis on our communication. The level of communication too.”

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Ratten has said post-game many times this year that he wants his team to play with a harder edge. But that is just one of a number of things that the Saints will be looking to rectify in the second half of the season.

“There’s multiple of things we need to work on,” he said.

“When you’re not winning games of football and you’re not where you want to be, you can pick [out] a lot of things. I think across the board we’re just chipping away at it.

“Whether we see the results come this week, next week, by the end of the year, it’s something we’re going to push really hard for.

“What we need to do as a team to be the team that we want to be, we can’t shy away from that.

“Like most things, we’ll practice things and hopefully we see the transition from RSEA Park to the MCG.”

Injured duo Dan Hannebery and Zak Jones continue to make strides in recovery from calf and quad injuries respectively. Both aren’t due back for at least another month, but Ratten said he won’t push his midfielders for an early return.

Their absences will continue to provide opportunities for the younger Saints to step up.

“We’re not getting a heap back for a little bit, so there’s going to be some good opportunities.”

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