Saints rest star duo from NAB Cup clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints rest star duo from NAB Cup clash

By Justin Chadwick 04/03/2010 07:52:27 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's chances of progressing to the NAB Cup grand final have been given a boost with St Kilda resting stars Nick Riewoldt and Brendon Goddard from Saturday's semi-final at Etihad Stadium.

But while Dockers coach Mark Harvey admits to being tempted to play ruckman Aaron Sandilands for a third straight week in a bid to lift the club to their first ever grand final, he is adamant Fremantle's focus remains solely on round one of the season proper.

Sandilands was named in the Dockers' 29-man squad on Thursday but Harvey said he was yet to decide whether to play the two-times All-Australian.

Defender Steven Dodd, who was sidelined for the entire summer after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction and wrist surgery, was also named but must pass a late fitness test to make the final line-up.

"This week or next week (Sandilands is due for a rest) ... our whole focus is round one, so it is important we don't get sidetracked with that," Harvey said on Thursday.

"We like to think the players that we bring in and out of the side can fulfil the roles anyhow.

"That is the belief we have got to have.

"If Aaron is not there then let's push ahead without Aaron.

"It would be great for our fans and our members (to reach the grand final) but we have had this policy (of managing players) imprinted over pre-season and that is what we were going to do no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in."

Skipper Matthew Pavlich returns to bolster the forward line but goalsneaks Hayden Ballantyne and Chris Mayne (five goals last week) have been rested.

It was initially thought Dodd could miss up to half the season due to his shoulder and wrist complaint but the 26-year-old has recovered well from surgery.

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