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Top against bottom suddenly a big game

By Roger Vaughan 17/06/2004 07:19:17 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda's mid-season AFL hiccup suddenly means a lot more pressure on Friday night when top plays bottom.

While coach Grant Thomas points out the Saints still have a 10-2 win-loss record, he acknowledged they badly needed a win against last-placed Hawthorn ahead of the mid-season break.

After storming through the first 10 rounds, St Kilda lost to Sydney and the Western Bulldogs staged the upset of the season last Saturday at the Saints' expense.

When asked if the last fortnight was a slump or a hiccup, Thomas replied: "It's a hiccup, it's just a by-product of AFL in this day and age.

"It's not necessarily a matter of a top side and a bottom side, because last week we got beaten by four goals and they got beaten by (two goals).

"We're both coming off a loss and we're both pretty desperate for a win before the bye.

"I don't think anyone will have anything left at the end of the game, they'll have a couple of weeks to get over it, they'll all be fairly spent."

Hawthorn also has much to play for, despite being out of finals contention already with only two wins.

The Hawks are set to overhaul their list at the end of the season and several high-profile players could be on shaky ground.

The Hawks showed enormous character to nearly beat Carlton a week ago, given it had lost several players at the tribunal because of the brawl during a massive loss to Essendon.

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