Border Mail Semi Finals – Review

Little separated the two heavyweights in the first half with the Saints clinging to a six point lead at the main break.

The defending premier was able to keep the Tigers at bay in the second-half and grind out a workman-like 9.12 (66) to 7.8 (50) victory.

The Saints boast a lethal grand final record, winning all four deciders they have contested in the past six years.

Premiership coach Kade Stevens said the Saints’ fierce pressure was the cornerstone of the slogging win.

“I think we laid somewhere in the vicinity of 80 tackles,” Stevens said.

“We pride ourselves on our pressure and it hasn’t been at a level we expect over the past month.

“It was tough conditions and didn’t suit either side who have free-flowing game styles.

“It was a real slog and the skill level wasn’t the best in the windy conditions.”

The Tigers suffered a huge blow with trump card George Alexander forced to miss after suffering a knock to the kidneys in the final round.

Dynamic duo Matt Seiter and Nico Sedgwick were the driving force behind the Saints taking the direct route into the decider.

Seiter dominated the hit-outs with Sedgwick dining out on the man mountain’s ruck work.

Sedgwick was keen for a big performance after Tiger tagger Izaac McDonnell was able to dim his influence in their most recent encounter last month.

The Azzi medallist was able to break the shackles of McDonnell and rack-up 30 plus possessions.

Seiter narrowly shaded Sedgwick for best on ground honours.

Willson Mack, Jeremy Luff, Josh Koschitzke and Tyson Neander were also strong four-quarter performers.

Koschitzke spent time on Tiger coach Matt Rava and was able to restrict his usual influence.

Connor Galvin was dangerous in attack for the Tigers and booted three goals in the second quarter and four for the match.

Galvin, Duncan McMaster and Will Ryan were the Tigers best but lacked support.

The Saints emerged unscathed on the injury front and will now take a power of beating in the decider.

“Our form has been patchy over the past month,” Stevens said.

“But the biggest difference today was our pressure on the ball carrier which was first rate

“I thought it was an even team performance but the contribution from Seiter and Sedgwick was outstanding.”