Saints' Riewoldt to return against Freo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints' Riewoldt to return against Freo

By Darren Cartwright 31/07/2011 05:50:50 PM Comments (0)

A suspension-enforced holiday at least has St Kilda's match-winning skipper Nick Riewoldt primed for Friday night's return against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, says Saints coach Ross Lyon.

As much as Lyon would like Riewoldt holding down the key forward post every week, his one-match ban for a crude tackle on Adelaide's Brad Symes came at an opportune time.

It forced Riewoldt to miss the clash with lowly Gold Coast, which St Kilda was always favoured to win comfortably, and gain valuable time on the sideline to recuperate from an on-going knee injury.

"He has certainly been battling some knee soreness," Lyon said.

"That has been getting him down a little bit.

"He comes back fresh for Friday night on a big stage against a quality opposition - it's all set up for a big Friday night.

"What he brings is an extraordinary effort."

In Riewoldt's absence against Gold Coast, Lyon praised the efforts of senior trio Nick Dal Santo, Brendan Goddard and Leigh Montagna for their leadership.

The Saints did enough to score a 20 point win at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night which was not as close as the scoreline may indicate.

St Kilda were able to put a gap on the Suns at will and even broke five goals clear in the final term before the home side rallied with a couple of late majors.

As Lyon found out, sides cannot afford to take the fledgling AFL side lightly.

"When the game needed to be won we certainly did enough," Lyon said.

"Even at the end with six minutes to go we were 33 points up then we relaxed and it shows if you want to play circle work with them they are quite dangerous.

"Both teams had momentum shifts, clearly the first and third we dominated and the second they dominated.

"Their clearance work was very good and that's been their strength all year."

The Suns worked their way back into the match on several occasions and may even have led at halftime had they not been so inaccurate when they added 2.7 for the second term.

However, St Kilda always seemed to have their measure and Lyon can see the Suns being a major force within a year or two because of the quality of their playing list.

"They have a lot of talent on their plate and they are going to be an interesting team in a couple of years," he said.

"They walk away with a fair bit (of confidence)."

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