The Northern Territory news Fri 15 Jun 2012
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.ntnews.com.au Friday, June 15, 2012. NT NEWS. 29 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:15-JGE:29 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Ruckman Ben McEvoy is an important inclusion in St Kildas side as they get set to face the in-form Crows in Adelaide tonight Picture: GEORGE SALPIGDITIS Big Ben back McEvoy returns as Saints on enemy turf ADELAIDEVSTKILDA ST KILDA will welcome back ruckman Ben McEvoy and defender Sam Fisher for tonights clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium. The Saints have dropped Tom Simpkin and Jack Newnes, but Ahmed Saad has recovered from a heavy knock against the Gold Coast last week and is in the side. Adelaide has lost Graham Johncock (back), Brodie Smith has been omitted and Bernie Vince is suspended. Chris Knights is the major inclusion for the Crows, providing added midfield depth. Saints coach Scott Watters said he expected McEvoy and Fisher to have an immediate impact against Adelaide. McEvoy has been missing since injuring a knee against Melbourne. He was a late withdrawal against Hawthorn in Round 6 and the Saints have struggled for bigman depth since, using defender Jason Blake as a pinch-hitter in the ruck. The 22-year-old came of age last season, playing all but one game and being rewarded with St Kildas Most Promising Player Award. In 2011, he took the most contested marks (51) for the Saints and was eighth in the AFL for hit-outs (497). His return has Watters excited. It is a challenge for Ben McEvoy to elevate his performance to energise the ruck stocks. I do expect big things from Ben, even though it is his first game back, he said. Watters said the return of Fisher was crucial. He is such an important player to us. We look forward to him having an impact, he said. The Saints (5-6) take on the Crows (8-2) in a crunch game, particularly as Carlton, Fremantle and Richmond are breathing down St Kildas neck for a top eight spot. Watters does not believe the Saints have been inconsistent this season in their general play, despite what the scoreboard indicates. You can look at the winloss-win-loss record and say we are inconsistent but our effort and ability to stay in a game has been consistent, Watters said. It is not the win-loss ratio that we like but overall our performances have been consistently good. We have probably had some honorable losses but like any side that wants to establish itself you need repeat wins. It has been a make-orbreak game since Round 2. Every week is critical. This is a big challenge but we go away quietly confident. The return of a key defender and a ruckman will be a big help. Watters is unfazed by consecutive interstate trips and said the players enjoy travel. It has a bonding effect, he said. They are excited about the trip, about the hostile Adelaide crowd and playing a quality opponent.
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