AAP AFL

Billings’ Saints await AFL reinforcements

By AAP Newswire

Alan Richardson says the sky's the limit for match-winner Jack Billings but the St Kilda coach isn't expecting as much from a few likely reinforcements against Brisbane next weekend.

The Saints came from 31 points behind to beat the Gold Coast by four points in Townsville on Saturday, importantly keeping them within one win of the AFL's top eight.

Billings was the star, collecting 33 disposals and making nine tackles to go with two telling goals in the final term to put them clear.

One effort - off one step from outside 50m - took the wind out of the Suns' sails while he also made some crucial defensive plays late in the contest.

"Jack stepped up didn't he, in the second half," Richardson said.

"He's improving all the time Jack, we think it's quite scary where he might end up."

Having moved to 6-6, St Kilda will host the much-improved Brisbane (7-5) on Saturday.

Prized Sydney Swans recruit Dan Hannebery could debut for the club at Marvel Stadium while key defender Jake Carlisle could also make his return from a serious back injury.

On the comeback from hamstring and calf issues, Hannebery will play for Sandringham on Sunday alongside 18-year-old Max King, whose twin brother Ben kicked two goals against the Saints on Saturday.

"The guys coming back, Carlisle, Hannebery, have played a lot of senior footy and are really important," Richardson said.

"But the reality is they haven't played a lot of (recent) footy, so even if they were to come in you wouldn't expect them to be outstanding.

"You'd expect them to be able to play their role."

The win in Townsville - following just one victory from the side's last six starts - gave the under-pressure Richardson some breathing room but the coach knows the Lions will pose a new challenge.

"It's good to go six and six and we've got a really hard game against Brisbane down in Melbourne and that'll be an exciting opportunity for the group."