Autopsy Round 17, 2020: St.Kilda v West Coast

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NarklesHelmet

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I don't see any amazing systems being implemented, for the past 5-6 weeks we've looked as bad as when richo was coaching… long kicks on top of Kings head.
That was actually the whole point of my post.

Since the pressure got ramped up by the Cats and opposition teams started REALLY going to school on us and putting pressure on, we’ve reverted back to our bad old habits. The saying old habits die hard is very true, especially under stress.

Unfortunately, that’s because you can’t successfully implement a new system with young blokes in half a season after an interrupted pre-season.

The fact we’ve done as well as we have with such a young list with a lots of new players struggling for synergy shows there is complete buy-in from this list.

We just need to add games, pre-seasons and we are there, all good things take time, it was never going to happen one season in, especially during COVID.
 

BrutThough

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Which of these players wouldn't have played last night if available?

Ah Chee, Cripps, Redden, Rioli, Sheed, Shuey, Yeo, Jetta, Hutchings
Cripps, Redden, Sheed, Shuey and Yeo are the clear, first choice best 22 they were missing. Some very good players.

Anyone else is reaching.

Luckily for them they are a stacked team who still have ridiculous amounts of quality players in the other areas of the ground.
 

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SaintsSeptember

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That was actually the whole point of my post.

Since the pressure got ramped up by the Cats and opposition teams started REALLY going to school on us and putting pressure on, we’ve reverted back to our bad old habits. The saying old habits die hard is very true, especially under stress.

Unfortunately, that’s because you can’t successfully implement a new system with young blokes in half a season after an interrupted pre-season.

The fact we’ve done as well as we have with such a young list with a lots of new players struggling for synergy shows there is complete buy-in from this list.

We just need to add games, pre-seasons and we are there, all good things take time, it was never going to happen one season in, especially during COVID.
To me its a natural part of pressure ,not even a habit.
In tight, you get your hands on it, no-one to dish it off to that isn't in a worse position to you, no time to spot someone up...blam..you think you are lucky it fell on your foot.
 

One 2 Roo

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The year should end with a solid pass. But let's not kid ourselves - we are as far off the pace of the top 4 as are Roos, GC, Dees, Swans. It is a big gap in quality and we shouldn't be thinking that improvement is going to be linear. We have some serious problems with our list.
Of course we do, otherwise we would have won last night and perhaps be a little further up the ladder. The positive however is that we are much closer to the top 4 than at the same stage last year, and even after rd 1 of this season.

We are heading in the right direction, and a chance to play finals for the first time in almost a decade. I think we should all take a moment to appreciate it for what it is.
 

Diehard Saint

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West Coast were missing 8-9 first choice players and 3/4 of their midfield and we couldn't capitalize, it feels like for all the steps forward we have taken, the loss last night and losses to north, freo & melb have meant we are treading water overall.

I can totally understand why people are despondent.
To put it not perspective, a team like us missing our two top midfielders ( and defender!) is probably similar to them missing a lot of theirs.
They still did have Kelly, Gaff and NicNat (all three better than our best) and their strong first - choice forward and back lines.

I think we really kidded ourselves that we could beat them, and came back to earth with a thump. As I said previously, they are top of the tree and we’re still climbing with a fair way to go before we see blue sky.

Granted they played a lot of games in a short space of time, but brought in a third of the team with fresh legs and looking at it without rose-tinted specs, as some clear- thinking people on here did, we should have realised it was a long shot to win.

Having said that, getting out to a two goal lead in the fourth and then losing it.....😡
 
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Diehard Saint

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It shouldn’t be, but I’m a bit surprised how many of you are going off the deep end after that loss: it feels extreme, even for this board.

One thing that stuck with me from the pre-match build-up was how Adam Simpson was adamant that, while injuries would hurt their side, they were a “system-based” team that would get through it.

He proved to be spot-on. It’s what wins games in this league normally.
Add COVID and shorter quarters and limited training into the equation and it’s winning even more in 2020.

What frustrates me in reading these comments is that so many of the over-the-top ones are coming from the same people that (rightly in my opinion) were getting so frustrated with Richo and our lack of system and composure last year.

I ask these people, why are you surprised that, when under extreme pressure, a lot of our senior players revert to what they learned from a coach for a number of years, i.e bang the ball on the boot and bomb it long. It makes complete sense. It also makes sense that the Eagles, when they are under pressure, revert to their system that has been instilled in them for many years under Simpson.

In relation to the above, we simply CANNOT expect that Ratts and co. can turn around our system so quickly. It will take time. While COVID has helped us in some ways, training restrictions haven’t helped in others. It’s going to take another couple of pre-seasons until we really bed down our game plan and sort the wheat from the chaff with our list.

Whatever way you look at it, 2020 has been an impressive first step for Ratts and co. To think our defense has basically Dougal having played over 50 games and that’s it.... scope for the future is enormous.

But, for fu**s sake, a loss against a top team in the first year of a new regime is NOT the time for us all to think the sky is falling.

But the really promising thing is that, on top of our players gaining in game experience every year they play, they will be getting more time to learn our system with each pre-season, learn synergy with each other and plan B’s. It’s a matter of time and the journey back to the Grand Final will be part of the fun.

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be following our young club. This is only the beginning, and to butcher a quote from that old Deborah Conway song, many of you have already gone and lost your minds after a few close losses. Pull your heads in and realize that we are on the right path finally.
Great post - once again!
 

bergholt

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Yup, in the age of the midfield we loaded up on half back flankers. It was one of he strangest list management decisions ever.
Not sure about HBFs but we definitely took way too many talls and small forwards. Here's the last 9 years of drafting/trading, grouped by the position they were when we picked them up.


Key Defenders (13)

2011: Lever, Wilkes/Maister
2013: Bruce, Delaney
2014: Goddard
2015: Carlisle, Coughlan (rookie)
2016: Brown, Joyce (rookie)
2017: Austin, Clavarino
2018: Wilkie (rookie)
2019: Howard

Small/Mid Defenders (10)

2012: Murdoch, Roberton, Wright
2013: Weller (rookie)
2014: McKenzie
2015: Rice, White
2016: Long
2017: Coffield, Paton

Rucks (8)

2012: Hickey, Pierce
2013: Longer, Holmes (rookie)
2018: Rowe
2019: Abbott, Ryder, Bell (rookie)

Mids (24)

2011: Markworth, Newnes, Ross, Webster, Dunell (rookie)
2012: Saunders
2013: Acres, Billings, Dunstan, Savage
2014: Sinclair (rookie)
2015: Freeman, Gresham, O'Kearney (rookie)
2016: Phillips, Steele, Stevens
2017: Clark
2018: Bytel, Hannebery
2019: Byrnes, Connolly, Hill, Jones

Key Forwards (11)

2011: Staley (rookie)
2012: Lee, White
2014: McCartin, Membrey, Payne (rookie)
2016: Battle, Marshall (rookie)
2018: King, Marsh, Mayo

Small/Mid Forwards (15)

2011: Milera, Saad, Minchington (rookie), Shenton (rookie)
2012: Dennis-Lane
2013: Templeton (rookie)
2014: Lonie, Saad (rookie)
2017: Connellan (rookie), Langlands (rookie)
2018: Hind, Kent, Parker, Young
2019: Butler
 

lewdogs

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To put it not perspective, a team like us missing our two top midfielders ( and defender!) is probably similar to them missing a lot of theirs.
They still did have Kelly, Gaff and NicNat (all three better than our best) and their strong first - choice forward and back lines.

I think we really kidded ourselves that we could beat them, and came back to earth with a thump. As I said previously, they are top of the tree and we’re still climbing with a fair way to go before we see blue sky.

Granted they played a lot of games in a short space of time, but brought in a third of the team with fresh legs and looking at it without rose-tinted specs, as some clear- thinking people on here did, we should have realised it was a long shot to win.
You're right about their side being strong. But we were up by two goals with a few minutes left and all over them. Should have won from that position, I think that's where a lot of the disappointment lies.
 

Mowman

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To put it not perspective, a team like us missing our two top midfielders ( and defender!) is probably similar to them missing a lot of theirs.
They still did have Kelly, Gaff and NicNat (all three better than our best) and their strong first - choice forward and back lines.

I think we really kidded ourselves that we could beat them, and came back to earth with a thump. As I said previously, they are top of the tree and we’re still climbing with a fair way to go before we see blue sky.

Granted they played a lot of games in a short space of time, but brought in a third of the team with fresh legs and looking at it without rose-tinted specs, as some clear- thinking people on here did, we should have realised it was a long shot to win.
That was their 5th game in 19 days, no excuse for losing last night and if there is that is the reason we are no better than the Dees and Bombers. Always an excuse at our club. A long shot to win ? we were favorites with the bookies
 

plugger66

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That was their 5th game in 19 days, no excuse for losing last night and if there is that is the reason we are no better than the Dees and Bombers. Always an excuse at our club. A long shot to win ? we were favorites with the bookies
We are better than both those sides. I looked at the ladder.
 

Diehard Saint

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You're right about their side being strong. But we were up by two goals with a few minutes left and all over them. Should have won from that position, I think that's where a lot of the disappointment lies.
You’re probably right, but when push came to shove, their experience came to the fore and we didn’t have the class or nous to match them. Next year hopefully in a similar position we do.

I was damn disappointed last night, but to be honest, not nearly as shattered as I was after losing to the Dees and Lions - both of which I see as on our tier.
 

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kernelT

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To put it not perspective, a team like us missing our two top midfielders ( and defender!) is probably similar to them missing a lot of theirs.
They still did have Kelly, Gaff and NicNat (all three better than our best) and their strong first - choice forward and back lines.

I think we really kidded ourselves that we could beat them, and came back to earth with a thump. As I said previously, they are top of the tree and we’re still climbing with a fair way to go before we see blue sky.

Granted they played a lot of games in a short space of time, but brought in a third of the team with fresh legs and looking at it without rose-tinted specs, as some clear- thinking people on here did, we should have realised it was a long shot to win.
We had them for disposals, inside 50's, clearances, tackles - that game was there for the taking… they're weren't leagues above us.

6.14 from 44 entries is the issue… King with donuts from 4 shots on goal, Wilkie putting one on a platter for Ryan - his only goal. Kelly was running around on his own half the night.

and we CHOSE to select only one key defender, that is hard to fathom - it was before the game and it doesn't look any better afterwards.

Hill is meant to be our Gaff and he's just BOG average.

I am thoroughly disappointed and think it is warranted.
 

Stewart66

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One thing I've learnt over the journey is to never go on the Autopsy thread the same day as we lose, especially if it's a night game. It's much better to check it out the next day when comments are more lucid and less personal. Unfortunately, I forgot my own rule last night and ventured into the thread. All the usual vitriol and snide remarks from the usual suspects. I quickly left, shaking my head at the same old comments by some. It's good to see that with a night's sleep under our belts that the thread is largely back on point.

Just a few random comments from me -

To think we are only one measly win from tying up a final's berth it's hard to not look back on what might have been. Granted that no team wins all their close games but good teams win more than they lose. Deep in the last quarter we've had the chance to win in all five close games that we've ultimately lost. It's not like we would've stolen the points in any if we had got up. A win in any one of those games would have us sitting pretty today. Any one of five. Think about that. I won't even start thinking about what if we had got the job done in more than one of those. It's not like we aren't good enough as some have suggested. For some reason we just seem to lack the system/polish to get over the line consistently in close finishes.

A shout out to Paddy Ryder. I thought he was a wasted pick up but he's proven me wrong. He's actually one of the in form rucks in the comp and he's real heart and soul player. He always lifts when the going gets tough and a few of his teammates should take a leaf out of his book, particularly late in the game. I hope we get another couple of years out of him. I didn't think I would be saying that at the start of the year.

I've posted about Brad Hill before. I said he's like the icing on an already well made cake, not the main ingredient. I could imagine him tearing it up at Geelong or Richmond. But with us I think what you see is pretty much what we are going to get from Hill. If we improve as a team so will his output but he won't necessarily be the cause of our improvement. I'd actually prefer a fit Hannebery over him even though they are totally different players.

I must admit post game after Hill's couple of last quarter fiascos I couldn't help thinking about Acres. He was supposed to be the steak knives in the deal that landed Hill. Right now their respective output and influence on their teams isn't much different.

Finally a thought on King/Membrey. In no way is this a knock on Ming who I think has done a great job in his first full season and hopefully he is going to be the player we all crave him to be. However, it seems like the weight of the supporter's expectations is taking a toll on him. He seems down on confidence and he's definitely suffered from being the main go-to man every week, especially given our disposal.

I can't help thinking how we would've fared if Membrey had played the whole season as our FF like he has in the last few seasons and if the majority of our forward entries had been directed to him on the lead. Membrey has always been good for 2-3 big games each year where he kicks a bag. Nearly all of them result in a win. Given our overall team improvement if that had a stayed true to form who knows what games that might have occurred in. Maybe in a couple of the tight ones we lost. Again, this is a not a knock on King but he hasn't delivered that knock out blow in any game yet. In hindsight maybe we should've eased him into it this year and let him roam around the ground more and pick up some easy kicks. He's certainly agile enough. One thing for sure Membrey's output would've been significantly greater.

We can beat GWS but it's going to be tough. If we do we will definitely have earned it regardless of what some fools say. But FFS play Jake if he's fit !

Finally, props to Spaceman for an earlier post. Some pages back he commented about the sliding doors impact on a poster's assessment of our performance. Go read it if you haven't. I couldn't agree more. It seems the good Doctor is more that just a Photoshop guru.
Agree with the Ryder praise , could see it from day 1 his influence on Marshall’s ruck craft 1st Class.
Similar when Steve King arrived at the club from Geelong , highly instructional where players positioned
themselves , couldn’t believe how good he was verbally on the ground.
For me this year has been ok , but not as promising as it looked ,we haven’t rotated our list as well as
other clubs when given the opportunity, with short game turnaround, particularly last 6 weeks.

We never played out West .

Thought we have too many small forwards and fixated on playing some players out of their best position .
 

Mowman

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Agree with the Ryder praise , could see it from day 1 his influence on Marshall’s ruck craft 1st Class.
Similar when Steve King arrived at the club from Geelong , highly instructional where players positioned
themselves , couldn’t believe how good he was verbally on the ground.
For me this year has been ok , but not as promising as it looked ,we haven’t rotated our list as well as
other clubs when given the opportunity, with short game turnaround, particularly last 6 weeks.

We never played out West .

Thought we have too many small forwards and fixated on playing some players out of their best position .
Ryder has been great for the club
Our small forwards were poor last night and all of them have struggled to become regular senior players
 

st_trav_ofWA

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What we do know is that Ratts has taken us from 14th to wherever we eventually land up off the back of a season like no other -

*Not allowed to have full team training sessions while introducing a new game plan and 7 new players (incl King and Bytel)
*playing pretty much the entire season without our most experienced mid
*winning away games - something we’re notoriously bad at - including back
to back games in Adelaide

Let’s see what he can do in a normal year.
I still think coming out of a successful system, and probably helping to bring people like Rath into the club, gives us more than Harves could right now.
dont get me wrong ... im not saying Ratten has done a bad job ... the test for me is to see if he can get us past this mid road team into that top team .. we saw at Carlton he is good enough to produce what he has with us to this point the next step is the big ? ... i was on the Harves train because i think he has what it takes just clubs are shy to jump on a guy who isnt media polished to lead the club these days ..
 

Plugger35

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To put it not perspective, a team like us missing our two top midfielders ( and defender!) is probably similar to them missing a lot of theirs.
They still did have Kelly, Gaff and NicNat (all three better than our best) and their strong first - choice forward and back lines.

I think we really kidded ourselves that we could beat them, and came back to earth with a thump. As I said previously, they are top of the tree and we’re still climbing with a fair way to go before we see blue sky.

Granted they played a lot of games in a short space of time, but brought in a third of the team with fresh legs and looking at it without rose-tinted specs, as some clear- thinking people on here did, we should have realised it was a long shot to win.
I don't think many people here thought we had a guaranteed win, even with the injuries West Coast had they still had enough high quality players to beat us.

What was disappointing is that we let some of those high quality players like Kelly, Gaff and Ryan run free for most of the night and do as they pleased.

It was obvious that they were their 3 main dangers so you would have thought we would have paid closer defensive attention to them to limit their impact.

Naitanui had a big impact too, a pity they didn't rest him for this game rather than the Bulldogs game as without him we probably would have won that game.
 

austinnn

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Once again... we can't kick. Even our better players like Steele butchered the ball going inside 50. Seb Ross... mr throw it on the boot and hope for the best.

Ratten looked rattled in the presser... as he should. He's failing.

We are a shambles.
Absolutely. Even our best were just banging it on the boot and making it someone else's problem. Even our big midfield star Clark was a world away from the composure that we love him for...

However, we must recognise that like for most of the team this game was his first taste of AFL finals intensity. Yes they failed. But this is what these players need as part of their training to become elite.

It hurts like hell, but this kind of lesson can't be learnt in pre-season and they will become better players for it and the ones that can't will be weeded out.

Same with Ratts. He's seen the limits of his plan so far, can he build on it? How good can HE be? We can't just keep trading in guns, at some stage we have to develop our own.

If I were him, I'd select Bytel and Byrnes (for Ross and Hind) for the GWS match, get them a taste of finals intensity this year rather than wait another 12 months (if all goes to plan) - and Hanneberry for Geary if we're serious: neither are the future but it's a leadership upgrade.

There's that classic story of Allan Jeans grabbing a hold of Ross Smith and asking him if he's content to be a good ordinary player or if he can be something more, I forget when but the story goes Smith accepted the challenge and either won the 66 norm Smith or the 67 Brownlow or something - anyway, Ratts needs to do that to Billings. He is still a boy. When is he going to play like a man? Right now, he is the prototypical Melbourne FC player, if that's all he can be, I don't want him at our club. He's got 1-4 matches to prove his use to St Kilda. Hope he succeeds.
 

st_trav_ofWA

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Which of these players wouldn't have played last night if available?

Ah Chee, Cripps, Redden, Rioli, Sheed, Shuey, Yeo, Jetta, Hutchings
Jetta wouldnt play ...
Rioli really thats like us say Paddy wasnt able to play
AhChee would be 50/50 to play
Hutchings plays if they got an assignment for him to tag

so Cripps, Redden, Sheed, Shuey and Yeo
 

plugger66

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Absolutely. Even our best were just banging it on the boot and making it someone else's problem. Even our big midfield star Clark was a world away from the composure that we love him for...

However, we must recognise that like for most of the team this game was his first taste of AFL finals intensity. Yes they failed. But this is what these players need as part of their training to become elite.

It hurts like hell, but this kind of lesson can't be learnt in pre-season and they will become better players for it and the ones that can't will be weeded out.

Same with Ratts. He's seen the limits of his plan so far, can he build on it? How good can HE be? We can't just keep trading in guns, at some stage we have to develop our own.

If I were him, I'd select Bytel and Byrnes (for Ross and Hind) for the GWS match, get them a taste of finals intensity this year rather than wait another 12 months (if all goes to plan) - and Hanneberry for Geary if we're serious: neither are the future but it's a leadership upgrade.

There's that classic story of Allan Jeans grabbing a hold of Ross Smith and asking him if he's content to be a good ordinary player or if he can be something more, I forget when but the story goes Smith accepted the challenge and either won the 66 norm Smith or the 67 Brownlow or something - anyway, Ratts needs to do that to Billings. He is still a boy. When is he going to play like a man? Right now, he is the prototypical Melbourne FC player, if that's all he can be, I don't want him at our club. He's got 1-4 matches to prove his use to St Kilda. Hope he succeeds.
I would be selecting the best side. That certainly includes Ross over either Byrnes or bytel. Bytel can play for hind. Geary will play because he is captain whether we agree or not. I don’t hanners and geary are competing for the same spot anyway. Byrnes was no where near ready so I don’t think he is a chance at all. I don’t understand a Melbourne type player. It can’t be hardness because their mids are very hard.
 

kernelT

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Jetta wouldnt play ...
Rioli really thats like us say Paddy wasnt able to play
AhChee would be 50/50 to play
Hutchings plays if they got an assignment for him to tag

so Cripps, Redden, Sheed, Shuey and Yeo
So just an entire premiership midfield missing, then their best defender plays less than a half.

Rotham, Brandner, Brayshaw, Schofield, Ainsworth, O’Niell - that is bottom of the barrel stuff.

We should have mustered a win.
 

st_trav_ofWA

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i do wonder if we are trying to hide how bad Jakes back really is .. IF (and its a big if) Jake is on the way out the door come seasons end its not in either parties best interest for him to be played potentially making his back worse.. he plays and is hobbled we lose any trading value, he plays and gets hobbled he loses any bargaining chips for length or size of potential contract ...

personally i would have looked to have brought in Robbo for this game...
 

plugger66

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So just an entire premiership midfield missing, then their best defender plays less than a half.

Rotham, Brandner, Brayshaw, Schofield, Ainsworth, O’Niell - that is bottom of the barrel stuff.

We should have mustered a win.
I agree we should have won but there top 6 We’re so much better than our top 6. Ryder was clearly our best but was probably still behind his opponent. We couldn’t stop their best players. The only it looked like we could was early and then when the rain really came down. It didn’t rain long enough
 

st_trav_ofWA

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So just an entire premiership midfield missing, then their best defender plays less than a half.

Rotham, Brandner, Brayshaw, Schofield, Ainsworth, O’Niell - that is bottom of the barrel stuff.

We should have mustered a win.
to you maybe ... but i can tell you in the eyes of WCE supporters the names of

Hind, Wilkie, Paton, Coffield dont inspire thoughts of top quality players ... and players from a premiership won two years ago doesnt really mean much i mean i dont think they would have pick Mark LeCras Nathan Vardy or Tom Cole either
 

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