Harvey says Saints can shine in AFL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harvey says Saints can shine in AFL finals

By Roger Vaughan 08/09/2011 07:40:09 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda great Robert Harvey is happy to fuel the sentiment that no one will want to play the Saints this AFL finals series.

The grand finalists of the last two years loom as the wildcards at the business end of this season.

After a poor start to the year, they have found form and they know better than most what it takes to do well in finals matches.

They will host Sydney - another September-hardened team - this Saturday night in an elimination final at Etihad Stadium.

"It's been a different preparation and after the start of the year we had, to do dig ourselves out of that hole and make finals is positive," said the Saints assistant coach.

"But we feel that we're not just here to make up the numbers, we can do some damage.

"We're all pretty sound and upright and going pretty well - we go in some degree of confidence.

"We're meeting an opposition who are going to give us what we expect and that's a tough finals game ... it's going to be a really brutal contest."

St Kilda secured the home advantage for Saturday's game with an upset win over Carlton last weekend.

Playing at Etihad Stadium is a significant boost for the Saints, particularly given Sydney beat them in round 22 at ANZ Stadium.

But Harvey said their second-half form over the Blues was more important than the venue for this final.

"(It was) more for the fact that we beat a really quality team," he said.

"The home final is good but the Swans came down to Skilled Stadium only two weeks ago and did the job down there, so we know they travel well.

"More importantly, we got a lot right last week in the second half, which was more pleasing going into finals than anything.

"It goes without saying, you want to go into finals in some good form and we found some in the second half ... as disappointing as we were in the first half."

A massive key for St Kilda will be restricting Swans star Adam Goodes, who has been outstanding in the last few weeks.

Harvey, another player who kept starring once he had turned 30, said the 31-year-old Swans utility was in rare form.

"I know I didn't have that sort of pace at (31) - he looks as young as ever," Harvey said.

"Again, he's a massive danger, the way he's playing.

"He's definitely a key - but one of them."

Asked if the Saints would meet Goodes at his top form, Harvey ruefully replied:

"Unfortunately, it's probably true."

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