Martin eyes in-form Saint Marshall in AFL

Lion Stefan Martin is relishing the contest against Saint Rowan Marshall.
Lion Stefan Martin is relishing the contest against Saint Rowan Marshall.

Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin has been watching from afar and can't wait to go toe-to-toe with "surprising" St Kilda big man Rowan Marshall on Saturday.

The pair will square off at Marvel Stadium as the Lions look to consolidate their top-eight spot and the Saints aim to stay within reach after salvaging a last-round win against the Gold Coast.

Marshall, 23, has played as many AFL games and is just finding his feet after three seasons at the club.

He was instrumental in St Kilda's Townsville comeback against the Suns, registering 40 hit-outs to go with five marks, four tackles and 18 disposals.

Martin, 32, keeps a close eye on his rucking rivals and is expecting quite the tussle on Saturday.

"Rucks tend to keep an eye on the other rucks in the league and track how they're going," he said.

"I've been really impressed; he's a dynamic player, gets a lot of the ball, seems like an athletic guy and strong as well.

"He's surprised me with some of the contests he's done."

Coming off a bye, Brisbane missed a golden chance to consolidate their top-eight spot when they let a 37-point lead slip against last-placed Carlton a fortnight ago.

Martin has been licking his wounds since then, but says the team is ready to make amends.

"You've got to keep doing the same things that got you the lead," he said of the lessons learned in the loss to the Blues.

St Kilda could welcome Sydney recruit Dan Hannebery to the fold for the first time while key defender Jake Carlisle is also a chance of returning from a serious back injury to face the Lions.

"When they're on they're (Saints) a very good team with some really damaging players and a good midfield, so we've got to play better than we did last week."

Australian Associated Press