Dockers back Griffin against Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers back Griffin against Saints

Justin Chadwick 27/05/2011 05:43:58 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle utility Nick Lower insists the Dockers have nothing to fear despite entering Saturday's AFL match against St Kilda without injured ruckman Aaron Sandilands.

Sandilands will miss the next four matches with a toe tendon injury, a worrying absence given the Dockers have lost the past five matches in which the 211cm giant has been missing.

But Lower backed Jonathon Griffin to slot seamlessly into the lead ruck role over the next month, saying the former Adelaide big man had all the attributes needed to ensure Fremantle's midfield remained well supplied.

"Jonathon Griffin's obviously played a lot of games with the Crows and had the number one ruck spot over there for quite a number of years," Lower said on Friday.

"He's played some great footy at WAFL level. It's a really exciting time for the club to see what he can do.

"Griff's played a few pre-season games and is all over what Aaron does.

"He's very capable of doing the same sort of thing ... from where we stand nothing really changes at all.

"As statistics show, Spider (Sandilands) is the best ruckman going around. When you're seven foot it's a great advantage to have.

"(But) he (Griffin) has got a lot of attributes that maybe Spider doesn't.

"He's a great runner, fantastic runner, and can play a few positions."

Fremantle have lost their past six encounters against St Kilda, with their last win coming back in round 9, 2007.

Although the Saints are struggling with just two wins and a draw from eight games, Lower said last year's grand finalists remained a dangerous threat.

"They had a great win over Melbourne and you can't underestimate the Saints ... they played in two grand finals last year and they've been a fantastic club for a number of years," Lower said.

"I'm sure a lot of people weren't expecting it (their poor start to the year), but that's footy and every year the game slightly changes.

"The Saints are a fantastic group and have got some fantastic players in the side.

"On the back of a win they're capable of doing anything.

"I'd imagine they're not very far away from it (their best) at all.

"We're really going to have to be on our game and put a lot of time and effort into them this week."

Lower, who spent a season in the SANFL after he was axed by Port Adelaide at the end of 2009, has made the most of his second chance after the Dockers threw him a lifeline via the rookie draft.

The 23-year-old has played seven matches this season and racked up 28 disposals and a goal in last week's 52-point win over Port Adelaide.

"I'm really appreciative of the faith they've shown in me having had a year out of the system," he said.

"It was probably a pretty tough call for them to pick up a mature-age recruit, so I owe a lot to the club."

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