St Kilda the ultimate test, says Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

St Kilda the ultimate test, says Roos

By Josh Jerga 30/07/2009 05:32:46 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos says his evolving team will be put to the ultimate test in Saturday night's clash against all-conquering St Kilda.

The Saints have been the pacesetters of 2009 and stand undefeated at the top of ladder, two wins clear of second-placed Geelong.

Meanwhile, despite sitting one win outside the top eight, the Swans' four goal defeat over Melbourne last week was only their second in eight rounds and they remain rank outsiders to qualify for finals action.

But Roos says finals footy is not a priority for the Swans, with the remainder of the season more about developing Sydney's youngsters.

"It's a step up from last week against Melbourne with the guys who have played a little bit of footy, Nick Smith and Ed Barlow, it's good now to play on better players and see where they stand," Roos said.

"Particularly with only a few games to go in the season, then it allows you to go into pre-season, have a break and understand `I'll need to work a lot harder on this or this or whatever it may be.'

"So it is a really good opportunity for those young blokes to play against the best team in the competition."

The two sides squared off in round one in a game where the Swans nailed five goals in the first quarter and were leading the Saints.

However in a sign of what has become expected of St Kilda throughout the season, they were able to shut down the Swans in the final two quarters to prevail by 15 points.

Co-captain Adam Goodes pointed to the Swans' good record against St Kilda at the SCG, where they have won six of their last seven clashes.

He said if some of Sydney's younger players can lift, they could be the team that disrupts the Saints' season.

"When you look at a team and the way we match up across the board, if we can get individuals winning their contests, we can go a long way to winning the game of football for us," Goodes said.

"That's a long way away, the result, but if we can go about the process Saturday night and really mix it with those guys it will give us a lot of confidence going forward as a group."

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