Koschitzke denies St Kilda ruck crisis

Sportal May 8, 2012, 4:11 pm
Justin Koschitzke

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St Kilda forward Justin Koschitzke believes the Saints have enough depth to cover the loss of injured ruckman Ben McEvoy.

McEvoy will miss up to six weeks after undergoing knee surgery on Monday, forcing St Kilda to turn to a combination of Koschitzke, defender Jason Blake and forward Rhys Stanley for hit-outs.

Saints coach Scott Watters relied heavily on Blake and Stanley throughout St Kilda's 35-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday.

But at just 189cm, Blake will come up considerably short against Carlton duo Shaun Hampson (201cm) and Matthew Kreuzer (200cm) when the Saints host the Blues at Etihad Stadium on Monday.

"'Blakey' did the role the other night and competed really well," Koschitzke told media on Tuesday.

"Rhys is capable of playing on the ball as well. If we take up a little bit of that slack, I'm sure we can cover for (McEvoy).

"It's nothing we're not capable of competing against.

"The challenge is exciting and with Hampson and Kreuzer this week in good form, they are a good combo."

Koschitzke kicked five goals in a promising return from suspension against the Hawks, working alongside Stanley and captain Nick Riewoldt in St Kilda's forward line.

"I think it was just my turn the other night with Rhys and Nick. It has been great to have three of us working up there," Koschitzke said.

"Rhys demands a bit of attention now and obviously Rooey (Riewoldt) takes a lot of the heat. I was just lucky enough to get on the end of it."

Koschitzke insisted the ninth-placed Saints remain in the finals mix despite falling to Hawthorn for their third loss of the season.

"To finish where you want to be at the end of the year, you need to be ticking off wins at this time of year, that's for sure," he said.

"We're pretty disappointed. We went there with to get the points and it didn't happen."

"We'll quickly learn from what we did wrong, and get on with it this week."

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