Riewoldt warns of Hawthorn strength - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt warns of Hawthorn strength

14/09/2008 04:45:11 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt warns Hawthorn have a list that could be an AFL force for the next decade.

He says only a repeat of Saturday night's superb team effort will create an upset win for the Saints when they play the Hawks next Saturday night in their preliminary final.

Riewoldt and St Kilda atoned for their qualifying-final disaster against Geelong with a strong 34-point semi-final win over Collingwood at the MCG.

The Saints skipper was best-afield with five goals and will be one of the keys against the Hawks.

"We've had some really good games with Hawthorn over the last few years and they've got a very young and exciting list, complemented by some really tough, physical older bodies," Riewoldt said.

"They're going to be a side to be reckoned with for the next five to 10 years with the list they've got.

"It's a preliminary final ... so the stakes a lot higher and I'm sure they'll be a lot tougher.

"It's about us producing another team effort right across the board."

The Saints have won six of their past seven against Hawthorn, including their most recent game in round 16.

But as Riewoldt points out, his team then had a lot more to play for than the Hawks.

Hawthorn were guaranteed a top-four finish at that stage of the season while the Saints were fighting for a finals berth.

St Kilda ruck-forward Justin Koschitzke was booked for unduly rough play, but his fierce tackle of Collingwood defender Shane Wakelin might receive the thumbs-up on Sunday from the AFL match review panel.

While Koschitzke slung Wakelin to the ground, it was a legitimate tackle and he could not have known the Magpies veteran had released the ball.

"How nervous you are depends on the actual incident," Riewoldt said.

"I haven't seen a replay of the incident, I was blindsided so I didn't see it on the night.

"The club will have a look at it, we'll go from there."

Saints onballer Luke Ball was a late withdrawal from on Saturday night's lineup as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

His replacement, first-year player Jarryd Allen, hurt his hip in the opening quarter and it meant the Saints were a man down for the rest of the match.

"I'm not sure about Jarryd, he was obviously on crutches after the game and visibly disappointed," Riewoldt said.

"Luke was pretty close and he's a realistic possibility of coming into the side this week.

"They erred on the side of caution this week. It was pretty touch-and-go, but in retrospect it was a pretty good decision, given the result."

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