Blues expect Saints to attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues expect Saints to attack

By Guy Hand 05/05/2010 05:42:16 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten expects St Kilda to come out swinging rather than arm-wrestling in their AFL clash on Monday.

The Saints' defensive tactics against the Western Bulldogs conspired to produce a near-unwatchable match last weekend - rated one of the ugliest AFL games in years.

But Ratten believes Carlton's 53-point defeat in a 40-goal shootout against Collingwood in their last hitout will prompt the Saints to take a different approach against them at Etihad Stadium.

"I expect them to go at the game," Ratten said on Wednesday.

"I think they'll see that we had 150-odd points scored against us last week and they'll back their ability to score.

"They'll take the game on a lot more than they have.

"There was one time we played them under my coaching and we planned for the go-slow, keepings-off a bit, and then they just went helter skelter and went at the game."

While much is being made of the Saints' struggle to find a regular route to goal with Nick Riewoldt injured, Ratten believes versatile Brendon Goddard looms as the X-factor.

He admits trying to plan for the Saints is made more difficult by Goddard's ability to play at either end of the ground and through midfield - and the fact he changes position week-to-week and throughout a match.

"There's so many variables ... the interesting one is Goddard - is he in the forward line or is he in the midfield?

"His form's been outstanding. Every time he gets the football, St Kilda keep it or he hits the scoreboard."

Ratten foreshadowed a recall for tall utility Jarrad Waite ahead of Monday night.

Waite, defender Bret Thornton and midfielder Mitch Robinson all starred in the Blues reserves last weekend.

Waite was dropped three weeks ago as he struggled for touch after missing much of last year with a serious knee injury.

But he gathered 22 possessions in little more than a half of football for Carlton's VFL affiliate Northern Bullants last weekend.

Ratten admitted Waite, who can play as a key defender or forward, was on the verge of a return to senior football.

"We've seen the evidence in training drills he wasn't quite getting his hands on the ball, running under it, just out of position a bit," Ratten said of Waite.

"But we've seen that correct itself at training. He's worked extremely hard the last couple of weeks.

"Waite would be really close, Thornton would be really close, and there'd be a couple of others around the edges."

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