Sandilands might miss NAB Cup semi-final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sandilands might miss NAB Cup semi-final

By Roger Vaughan 05/03/2010 05:29:06 PM Comments (0)

The All-Australian absentees seem to be evening out ahead of Saturday night's AFL NAB Cup semi-final between St Kilda and Fremantle.

Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands did not fly to Melbourne with the team for the match at Etihad Stadium, fuelling speculation he will miss the game.

Sandilands would be the third member of last year's All-Australian team left out for the match, with Saints captain Nick Riewoldt and utility Brendon Goddard already rested from the team that beat Sydney.

It is understood that Fremantle key defender Chris Tarrant travelled to Melbourne ahead of his team-mates.

The Dockers have recalled captain Matthew Pavlich and onballer Paul Hasleby for the semi-final and Steven Dodd will play his first game of this pre-season after recovering from shoulder surgery.

Fremantle have rotated their squad heavily through the NAB Cup, with Sandilands due to miss either this match or next weekend.

As much as the Saints will clearly miss Riewoldt and Goddard, Sandilands' absence should give St Kilda a definite advantage in the ruck.

The Saints have named veteran Steven King and youngster Ben McEvoy as their ruckmen and they will probably go up against second-year player Zac Clarke and part-time ruckman Kepler Bradley.

"We've only got three ruckmen on the list, so admittedly the depth isn't that good," Fremantle ruck coach Justin Longmuir told the club website.

"Kepler can play a variety of roles, but up until a couple of years ago you wouldn't have considered him a ruckman."

Clarke, 19, played five games last year in his debut AFL season and McEvoy, 20, has played 12 matches in two seasons with the Saints.

The Saints were forced to change their squad on Thursday when Alistair Smith had to pull out with hamstring tightness, making way for Tommy Cahill.

Fremantle have never won the NAB Cup, while St Kilda last took out the pre-season title in 2008.

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