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

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stfan

Vale Spud
Mar 12, 2008
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You have to draft them usually, not many change hands and most come in the first round.

Caleb Poulter is the Bont like bolter. 34 possessions and a goal then backed up with 29 and 2 goals. Mc Crae looks like a his brother, Will Phillips looks like a man already etc. We should get a good one this year.

If we keep our first pick, evidently many of the best picks are already tied up and the biding also means that our first pick (if we keep it) well get pushed a long way back.
 

austinnn

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Watching Nic Nat was incredible, even with Ryder and Marshall as good as they are, he's on another level, don't see who in the AFL could have stopped him. He is definitely the reason they were in the game. Ryan and Kelly were awesome too. So much power and precision, we just don't have anyone like that now.

I remember the days when two of three of our best players would carry the team across the line, Harvey Burke and Loewe, or Chips, Hayes and Roo. Yes, they had loads of B-team players, but we had loads of players who couldn't make their presences count so in the end it was like Kelly Gaff Ryan Duggan Nic Nat standing up against Steele Clark Jones Ross Sinclair Paton and Ryder/Marshall in the middle, and their superior/more experienced system.

It was hard fast chaotic footy and really our first time in that finals-like pressure cooker. You never forget your first time! Now the pain of falling short is wearing off, all I'm seeing is the future when our boys are battle hardened and our system is well drilled.

Will Marshall ever become what Nic Nat is? No, that guy is a one off, like Roo was. But together, after more experience and a more automatic (well-drilled) system, the Saints will have enough to win games like that.

Our next match will be fascinating, we've just seen it's probably a year too early for us to really contend finals, but GWS will be playing to stay in just like us and they have more experience, though less than the Eagles. It's exactly the kind of experience the team needs.
 
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PostmanBish

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Sep 6, 2019
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I remember the days when two of three of our best players would carry the team across the line, Harvey Burke and Loewe, or Chips, Hayes and Roo. Yes, they had loads of B-team players, but we had loads of players who couldn't make their presences count so in the end it was like Kelly Gaff Ryan Duggan Nic Nat standing up against Steele Clark Jones Ross Sinclair Paton and Ryder/Marshall in the middle, and their superior/more experienced system.

It was hard fast chaotic footy and really our first time in that finals-like pressure cooker. You never forget your first time! Now the pain of falling short is wearing off, all I'm seeing is the future when our boys are battle hardened and our system is well drilled.

Will Marshall ever become what Nic Nat is? No, that guy is a one off, like Roo was. But together, after more experience and a more automatic (well-drilled) system, the Saints will have enough to win games like that.

Our next match will be fascinating, we've just seen it's probably a year too early for us to really contend finals, but GWS will be playing to stay in just like us and they have more experience, though less than the Eagles. It's exactly the kind of experience the team needs.
I think, if we look at what we've got in the 0-75 game range, we should have a best-22, next year, which is starting to become hardened - if we can squeak a final into them, it will help with that development.

With the age of those kids, it's likely to take time for them to fully fill out (Coff is getting there, King is just starting, for example) into mature bodies, but we're clearly seeing progress with a lot of the younger players.

What worries me, is the drop-off in our Billings/Membrey/Ross type players, who should be leading this charge - have we broken them with the 'Cho years to the point that they cannot be redeemed?
 

bergholt

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Mar 14, 2007
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Markworth was a forward when we took him, Dunnell a utility, pretty sure Webster was always a back, Newnes was playing as a wingman at Calder, Billings was a forward who may develop into a mid etc. If you define everyone that isn't a mid as a mid it looks much more balanced. To me a mid is a true mid not a wingman or a half back/ mid half forward/mid etc. Ross, Saunders, Dunstan, Gresham, Clark and Bytel all drafted in as true mids. Steele, Freeman, Stevens and Hanners traded in.

9 true mids in 9 years, some sides have 9 on their list, 4 or 5 of them A grade or elite.
Yeah, I mostly agree. I did look a bunch of those up when I was making the list though, Dunell was playing mid in the VFL, Webster was described as a mid, didn't bother looking up Markworth or Billings because I thought I remembered them.

But yeah overall agree with your point.
 

gringo2011

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Nov 12, 2011
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If the eagles are such a powerhouse compared to us, it’s strange that we would have gone above them on the ladder if we’d kicked a bit straighter last night. I give them no chance of winning the flag this year.

Has anyone come up with a theory around that last free kick/goal? I honestly couldn’t work out what it was possibly for.
A soft gut punch.
 

True Blue Saint

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I don't think it was so much that we lost, more so the manner in which we lost. We started off like a house on fire. At quarter time we led disposals 94-54. We led inside 50s 16-6. Yet we were only up by 10 points. At quarter time, the Eagles efficiency inside 50 was sitting at 67% (4 shots from 6 I50s) and ours was at 50% (8 shots from the 16 entries). That efficiency worried me then. We weren't going to control the game for 4 quarters, and our issues against quality sides is that when they get a run on, they inflict more damage on the scoreboard than us. When we were peppering away in the 1st quarter, it was difficult not to get more and more nervous with each miss that we had.

Ratts is starting to show some signs of stubbornness that are beginning to concern me. The obsession with all the small forwards has to stop. Kent did a couple of nice things against Hawthorn but has been largely anonymous for the last 6 weeks. Hind has done nothing since the GC game. I would much prefer to play Butler and Lonie as specialist small forwards, and we should have Bytel and Carlisle in for them. We need the extra mid. Billings and/or Sincs can spend some time up forward. The unwillingness to adapt tactically within games is hurting us as well, Kelly destroyed us. Gaff ran free all night. Marshall needed to be in the middle more when NicNat really started to assert himself.

The other concerning thing is how far our ball movement has regressed since the Sydney game. Opposition teams have worked us out and we don't seem to have an answer. We are so predictable and play in to the hands of the opposition intercept markers. May destroyed us. Barrass destroyed us. Harris Andrews also. We basically just chip it sideways then long to a contest down the line. It can be excruciating to watch.

Having said that, now I'm a bit more rational, I know that if you had offered me this position before the season began, then I would have bit your hand off. I guess the frustrating thing is the first half to our year gave us greater expectations. That's why the close losses are hurting so much.

All we can hope is that Ratten and his staff are learning from our mistakes. Next season, we need more midfield quality and depth. That is a given. I would LOVE to see us have a plan B or C that means we can actually still score as well. That would be sensational. We also need to be able to arrest other sides momentum more effectively. Those little bursts (That seem to always start after we have had long periods of domination for little scoreboard impact) need to be stopped sooner.
 

PoppedCorn

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Dec 29, 2009
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Today i can't stop thinking about that Seb Ross kick that went sideways out of bounds when there was a couple minutes left and he got it at half forward.

Seems to sum us up - just not quite there in skills and composure when it matters.
Steady

The police will be about spanking your bottom for uttering such disgusting ramblings
 

puppy_dog7

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Jul 29, 2007
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It’s funny. The loss I haven’t minded all year was the Collingwood one. Their pressure and skills were insane in that game. And the reason we lost was poor execution. If you go back and watch, we tried to move the ball quick and take the game on through the middle with short hit ups and handballs, but just skill errors or perceived pressure got us.

the games we were winning we were taking the game on, hitting targets inside 50, spreading and working hard for each other.

now for whatever reason we have completely gone into our shells and reverted to the last few years, slow wide long bomb game style of master coach Richo. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
Need to fix this ASAP but I feel it’s too late this year.
 

Joffaboy

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I have purposefully not commented on the game except for directly after and come to the conclusion that we lost because the umpires didn't give us enough free kicks ten metres out directly in front.

All we needed was 5 or so.

Thats my in depth analyais.
 

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hayes

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Best game from Hunter as a mid by far and he only did it for a half. He was clean and composed when others were jittery and fumbly. I go back and forth on where he should end up but I’m starting to think that we should put him where games are won and lost barring of course 2-3 A grade mids walking through the door.

The longer the season rolls on the more you wonder how far the revolving door of small forwards can take us. Either our talls have to basically double their goal average from this season or we have to load up on mids and have Gresham and Billings spend at least 60% of their time forward because the smalls aren’t kicking goals and they’re not creating turnovers.

Jeremy McGovern is just so frustrating but unreal. When he’s on a forward he basically makes them a defender, absolute game changer.

Ratten basically conceded we were too short in the backline so he moved Battle there. Might sound crazy but if he went with that from the start I think we win because some of the matchups back there that resulted in shots on goal were embarrassing. Just made it harder than it needed to be.
 

hayes

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Oh and I forgot to say that while I think it’s more likely we miss finals than make it there’s still plenty to work with going forward just need to keep investing in the middle of the ground and now all of a sudden we need a CHB. With Gresh out Jones is getting all the attention every week and Steele can’t do it all himself all the time.
 

Strahany

Premiership Player
Jan 23, 2011
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One thing I noticed was a clear hesitancy to go down the middle of the ground.

There were a number of occasions where we were switching (quite slowly, I might add!) on the HBF, and would end up just bombing it down the line as there were no options. However, during the transition on the switch, there were a number of occasions where the player receiving it near the middle, mid-switch, could’ve kicked it down the middle to an open player, but wouldn’t. A lot of the time, the closest opposition player to the open Saints player (in the middle) was near-sprinting across to the switching side, so would’ve had too much momentum to stop and affect the kick down the middle.

If our players start to take these options, not only does it give use some very dangerous ball movement, but it makes the opposition second guess fully committing to the opposite wing, and therefore gives us options - we can either take said option down the middle, or at least find ourselves with an option on the wing, other than bombing it down the line.

A lot of ex-player observers in the media are pointing out that players don’t want to do down the middle, because they’re too pre-occupied with the concerns about the negative outcome from turning it over and giving a goal away, rather than considering the potential positive of a goal for their own team. With the Saints’ focus on mindfulness, meditation, and general mental health wellbeing, I would like to see some specific work done to stop them thinking so negatively and taking the game on with the same gusto we had earlier in the year.
 

Strahany

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I’d also like to see some structured route-running coming out of the defensive 50. This would likely need a pre-season to develop, but being able to have a dozen or more set plays with designated routes to be run by the presenting players, with cuts/slants/stops to help shake the defender.

Zones are so strict nowadays, but the really good teams will take (and make) tight kicks to split the zone. Our problem is that we seem to react to players opening up, rather than “knowing” where they’ll be, which means the opposition sees the next kick at the same time we do. If, instead, an open player is in one spot but we know they’ll run to another, then we can kick to that spot before the defender even knows.

When we have such good kicks coming off the HBF and wings, we have the opportunity to do this.
 

austinnn

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David King is a fat bitter old fool, but give him his due, he's nailed this call.


“The two tagging roles. (Brayden) Ainsworth versus Zak Jones, (he) did a splendid job and they had Seb Ross on Kelly late in the game.

“If this is tagging I’ll go he. They had Jack Steele go with him for portions of the game. There he is top of the screen, Seb Ross, pivotal moments in the game. What are the West Coast Eagles? They are a clearance threat. You can’t fall asleep.

“Tagging is about concentration. You watch the job that Brayden Ainsworth did on Zak Jones. Zak Jones had seven kicks, he does not give him a metre. This bloke had all sorts of space. He’s finished with 30 disposals, 15 clearances.

“This is the killer, centre bounce play at the end that sealed it for the Eagles. You just can’t fall asleep if you are a senior player.

“The difference between what a young kid did to Zak Jones versus what a senior core players at St Kilda did to Tim Kelly is the reason why they now find themselves in another cutthroat game.”

Ross really let his club down, not for the first time.
 

Diehard Saint

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I reckon we’ll see how average west coast are tonight, compounding how bad that loss was.
They don’t have a hell of a lot to play for.
Finishing fifth gives them a home final - against Pies, Bulldogs, Dees or us, so it’s pretty much the same as a double chance by finishing fourth.

Those in the first 22 are not going to risk getting injured for finals so it’ll be pretty bruise-free footy from them tonight.
 

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