On the radar
What has been critical in the team’s evolution is that it has worked out a way to kick enough goals to win games. This is significant because the Saints have struggled all season to kick winning scores.
Was it a coincidence that this turned around when Jacob Cooke-harrison returned to the Saints? Not on your life, it meant everything and with Cooke-harrison ineligible to play in the finals there is again a question mark about Saints’ ability in front of the sticks.
Cooke-harrison hasn’t kicked all the goals but his creativity and influence in the forward line is significant and his absence means the Saints have to find someone else to play that role.
The Saints have other goal-kicking options in the likes of Matt Combe and young Mitch Martin and also rely heavily on midfielders to push forward and kick goals.
This midfield group has become the backbone of the Saints game with Toohey Medallist Sam Clyne, Jacob O’beirne, Sam Jasper and coach Luke Fisher, whose impact on the game is increasing every week. This is a formidable group when on song.
The Saints are workman-like in much of their approach, especially from defence where Ryan Bird, Xander Mcrae and Andrew Devereaux work solidly to limit opposition opportunities.
In summary, Horsham Saints’ finals chances will rely heavily on the leadership of Fisher and the form of their highly rated midfield in defence as well as attack. Critically, their ability to kick a winning score with a star short in attack might ultimately prove to be their achilles heel.