ST KILDA coach Brett Ratten is backing his side to be ready for its toughest test yet when it faces Port Adelaide next week off a five-day turnaround.
The Saints got a monkey off their back with their first win at Adelaide Oval after 10 straight losses when they beat the Crows by 23 points on Monday night.
CROWS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats
The win saw Ratten's men move to sixth on the ladder as round seven concluded, but the Saints will have a bigger task next Saturday night off a short break against the top-of-the-table Power.
The Power, coming off their after-the-siren win over Carlton on Sunday, have lost only one game this season and will meet St Kilda pair Dougal Howard and Paddy Ryder for the first time since they left Port last off-season.
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"It's going to be a big challenge. They're playing pretty well and they found a way [to win] on the weekend against the Blues so it will be a huge challenge," Ratten said after the victory over the Crows.
"Some old teammates will be getting to see each other again with Paddy and Dougal so the crowd will be hostile and we're looking forward to coming back."
The Saints jumped to a two-goal lead at quarter-time and were 26 points up late in the second term. However, after being challenged by the Crows in the last quarter they booted the final three goals to secure their fourth win of the year.
Ratten was pleased with his side's ability to control the game better than last week's dramatic fadeout to Fremantle.
But after some more contentious holding-the-ball free kicks throughout the contest, Ratten warned against penalising players too hastily.
"Sometimes it would be pretty hard to be a ball player and put your hands on it," he said.
"We have to be careful that we just haven't got players just sitting there waiting to tackle players. That's not how we want to play the game. There's a fine line and you have to be given some sort of chance to get rid of it.
"We'll just leave that to the umpires though. That's not our role, if it gets a bit tougher and they're hotter on it, we'll try to adjust as quickly as we can."
Crows counterpart Matthew Nicks, who is still searching for his first win as Adelaide coach, said his side missed its chances to press the Saints further but can feel the team getting closer to a breakthrough victory.
"It's turning. We came here to win tonight and we're really disappointed we didn't win," he said.
"We are getting some positive signs and we're seeing some development through our younger group, we're working on areas that aren't quite clicking at the moment with some of our older group and we're not hiding from any of that.
"We're out here to win. We came here with a winning mentality tonight and we took it to them."
The Crows will consider adding a second ruckman to their side to help Reilly O'Brien, with the club getting smashed at centre clearances (14 to seven).