Preview Round 4, 2021: St.Kilda v West Coast - Marvel Stadium, Saturday 10th April, 4:35PM AEST

Who Wins?

  • Saints

    Votes: 14 14.6%
  • Eagles

    Votes: 82 85.4%

  • Total voters
    96

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AirWinmar

Club Legend
Jun 18, 2018
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It's quite depressing to think that teams like Sydney and Adelaide who were tipped to finish bottom 6 have better kicking skills and better ball movement than us, even Essendon who some tipped for the spoon carved us up with their better ball use.

It's quite damning on our coaching and recruitment that our kicking skills are still well below the level required to be a successful team, one of the few players we recruited who has good kicking skills in Hannebery can't even get on the park.
I think we have enough good kicks in the team, probably more than them. We're not creating space or are just completely stagnant making kicks much riskier. Also not trying to hit that many short kicks as well. That's why the stats can be misleading. We're not going to have high disposal numbers when we kick long to a pack very often. Perfect example against Essendon I think in the 3rd quarter, we kick 2 kicks to get it to hf, then turn it over. Then Essendon chip it around about 20 times to get it in the f50

Long, JWeb, Coff, Clark, Battle, Hill, Howard, Billings, Sincs, Lonie, Butler, King all really good users
 

FQFjt

Club Legend
Sep 11, 2015
1,188
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I reckon Sydney’s short kicking game plan where they exploit angles to get through zones is a winner: just think it will take us or any team a lot of practice and training until it can be implemented.

First time I saw it work for Sydney was when they played GWS late last season in Perth and destroyed them with their kicking.

They’ve taken it up another level this year after bringing on Don Pyke.

Interesting thing about Pyke; we didn’t beat the Crows once when he was there. Richo was his bunny: their ball movement sliced us up every single time. It was incredibly frustrating how our “pressure” never laid a glove on them.

The way Pyke’s Adelaide played would be perfect with the new rules. Not surprising to see the Crows, who still have a fair few playing from that good Pyke team, have started so well this year. Their kicking and ball movement looks a long way ahead of teams like ours and others who have struggled to adapt.
Good observations and certainly accord with my perceptions of the matches I've seen.

The one thing that is perplexing me though is that I went to have a look at team stats and St Kilda are more or less right on par for kick/handball ratio with the rest of the league (in fact, we have higher ratio than league average), and similarly on par for kick/mark ratio with the rest of the league. So it's not like we aren't kicking the ball enough relative to handball, or even marking the ball enough when we kick it. Where we are now far from the pack is raw disposal numbers and raw mark numbers. Last year, we first ranked 4th in the league for marks per game, and this year we are 16th.

So although our ratios are okay, we simply aren't getting our hands on the ball enough. This does suggest a problem with effort more than anything.

The other thing I can't see from the stats is the pattern of ball movement, compared with other teams. That would tell you a lot about game plan in offence.
 

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Roddy Grant

Tier 5 ITK - formerly Indie Rock
Jan 24, 2020
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I would not be surprised if this is true. There is infighting in all lines of work, especially a sporting environment where egos run rampant. BUT, when you cross the white line all that rubbish is put aside. I doubt players are performing poorly because there is some infighting occurring off the field. Rubbish excuse if that is what some players are using to justify their poor form.
I crossed the white line at a work Christmas party about 15 years ago and ended up having to get another job.
 

bird_man

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Jan 14, 2012
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You’re a Leeds fan aren’t you... would think you’re exactly one who’d understand it as you’ve witnessed a tactician like Bielsa at work, the way your players have responded to him, vs the alternative.

If Bielsa says “trust fully in our system, work hard and you will get reward” and, after 6 months the players are finding they aren’t getting results and/or getting the ball back like Bielsa says, their work rate will drop off as they aren’t seeing any results.

Our game plan has been wonky since Geelong last year. There are blokes like Butler who aren’t getting rewarded for months now. Their coach is still telling them to work hard, they are trying, but without getting any results for their work they are dropping off.

If tactics get a tweak so our blokes get rewarded for their running and effort finally, and aren’t chasing tail all day, we can improve. One feeds off the other.

If it was as simple as just yelling at blokes to work harder and they did, you’d just hire a drill sergeant from the army and a loud speaker at training and match days.
Sorry mate, I know there are issues with our style at the moment but I just don't buy this.

We played in finals and even won one. We were then 1-1 going into that game. We were not 1-6 looking at a wasted season. You don't just lose players like that.

It was obvious to everyone that the effort wasn't there from the first bounce when we got smashed in the first 7 clearances of the game so it wasn't as though our effort just dropped off as the game went on.
 

Roddy Grant

Tier 5 ITK - formerly Indie Rock
Jan 24, 2020
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I love the AFL journalism...

“Hannebery strained his 'good' calf at training on Tuesday, the opposite side to the calf that had heavily interrupted his pre-season and meant he hadn't returned to the main group since January.”

Just to be clear, his good calf is the one that was not currently injured. It’s on the opposite side of that one confirming what I suspected, that he only has 2 calves.
 
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NarklesHelmet

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Sorry mate, I know there are issues with our style at the moment but I just don't buy this.

We played in finals and even won one. We were then 1-1 going into that game. We were not 1-6 looking at a wasted season. You don't just lose players like that.

It was obvious to everyone that the effort wasn't there from the first bounce when we got smashed in the first 7 clearances of the game so it wasn't as though our effort just dropped off as the game went on.
That’s fine, you don’t have to agree; many didn’t when I said that the Bombers ball movement would slice us up last week either in the preview thread.

The point I’ve been making is we’ve had game plan issues for longer than we realize (post Geelong last year) and that a finals win papered over a lot of cracks. We’ve also had some players like Butler who, because of the opposition defensive game plans since Geelong, has barely touched the ball.

The reality is, it doesn’t matter what sport, if your game plan isn’t working for months, you get results that give a false sense of where you’re at (like our final’s win, as much as we all loved it), and players and coaches get big heads subsequently, you’ll get results like Essendon.

The new rules have just added fuel to the above fire: all of our issues have been exacerbated.

Effort and pressure intersect with game plans and feed off of each other. It’s finding out where and how that’s the tough thing and what Roughy alluded to on 360 last night. I have faith that we have the off-field team in place to diagnose the problem and fix it quickly but it is a bloody tough ask to do it in season as the clock is ticking.
 

stavro#4

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Mar 14, 2011
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You’re a Leeds fan aren’t you... would think you’re exactly one who’d understand it as you’ve witnessed a tactician like Bielsa at work, the way your players have responded to him, vs the alternative.

If Bielsa says “trust fully in our system, work hard and you will get reward” and, after 6 months the players are finding they aren’t getting results and/or getting the ball back like Bielsa says, their work rate will drop off as they aren’t seeing any results.

Our game plan has been wonky since Geelong last year. There are blokes like Butler who aren’t getting rewarded for months now. Their coach is still telling them to work hard, they are trying, but without getting any results for their work they are dropping off.

If tactics get a tweak so our blokes get rewarded for their running and effort finally, and aren’t chasing tail all day, we can improve. One feeds off the other.

If it was as simple as just yelling at blokes to work harder and they did, you’d just hire a drill sergeant from the army and a loud speaker at training and match days.
Yes I am a Leeds fan. As big as a saint. Took my wife to a few games on our honeymoon.

So let me tell you the secret about Bielsa. He isn’t some amazing tactician that’s wins games due to X and o’s.

Everything he does is designed to replicate match scenarios and to deliver what they practice day in and out in a match.

So how does he do that? Firstly, he is a drill sergeant. He routinely does 3 a day sessions over pre season that causes his clubs to install sleep pods in their training complexes or hire hotel rooms for his players as they will be too wrecked to drive all the way home.

His is nicknamed “El Loco” because each session of his was the equivalent to 3 of his colleagues back in Argentina.

At every club he manages, he does a unique training session. At Leeds they call it murderball.

It is high intensity match sim running. If the ball goes out one of his assistants throws a new one in. Players don’t get a breather. They aren’t allowed to jog. You need to perform in this session to get selected in the match day squad.

His training drills are designed to embed behaviour so that players have them ingrained and don’t need to think they just act during matches.

In short, his philosophy is that the harder his team work. The better chance they have of winning as they have pushed themselves to be the utter best they can be.

He believes hard work will get the best out of the individual as long as they buy in. This negates the need to spend millions to buy replacements.

I think after the last few weeks. Our boys could of used bielsa, because a lack of effort as shown on fox footy throughout the week, isn’t about tactics.
 

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The_Steadier

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May 6, 2009
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lack of effort as shown on fox footy throughout the week, isn’t about tactics.
What you never see is vision of games where your team wins and guys give up chasing opponents etc.
Happens every week- win lose or draw.

Sure the degree varies, but there would be plenty of instances of that kind of stuff happening in wins too.
It needs to be put into that context
 

Plugger35

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Sep 27, 2008
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I think we have enough good kicks in the team, probably more than them. We're not creating space or are just completely stagnant making kicks much riskier. Also not trying to hit that many short kicks as well. That's why the stats can be misleading. We're not going to have high disposal numbers when we kick long to a pack very often. Perfect example against Essendon I think in the 3rd quarter, we kick 2 kicks to get it to hf, then turn it over. Then Essendon chip it around about 20 times to get it in the f50

Long, JWeb, Coff, Clark, Battle, Hill, Howard, Billings, Sincs, Lonie, Butler, King all really good users
We have some good ball users but we aren't using them that well due to game plan or structure issues, Lonie and Butler can barely get near it while Battle and Hill are being played out of position.


I only drink it coz Big Terry drinks it.
We should give Big Terry a call, we could do with him in the ruck or as another key position player.
 

lewdogs

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Jun 4, 2008
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God the woe is me is through the roof this week. Lose a game badly and suddenly every draft pick and trade we've done is sh*t and our coaches can't coach.

Hannebery hasn't worked out, but the gloating way people post about it is hilarious. The same people saying we shouldnt get him would have been labelling Ryder past it.

Now King is a bust, Coffield no good, Jones a crap trade and we wish we had Hickey, Bruce and Newnes back. Shouldn't bother trying to win a game for the next three weeks either because we are that bad.

Last year must have been a dream, obviously it wasn't the current players but some other group wearing masks, so these blokes don't deserve any of our support.

Since last I checked we have improved under Ratten and Lethlean has the club moving in the right direction. But no, the Essendon game happened so they're imposters now too.

Oh and apparently the whole game of AFL has changed now and we may as well give up because we got players in for old-AFL while teams like Adelaide knew that new-AFL was coming so now they're good.
 

stavro#4

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What you never see is vision of games where your team wins and guys give up chasing opponents etc.
Happens every week- win lose or draw.

Sure the degree varies, but there would be plenty of instances of that kind of stuff happening in wins too.
It needs to be put into that context
I understand that mate.

But we were visibly poor. The fact that we had so many instances where we could say “that was poor” or the amount of times it cut to Ratten red faced or hand in face kinda says it wasn’t a normal week.

The week before we beat ourselves. But it’s about effort and again that was lacking
 

ScrappyDo

Premiership Player
Mar 29, 2018
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You’re a Leeds fan aren’t you... would think you’re exactly one who’d understand it as you’ve witnessed a tactician like Bielsa at work, the way your players have responded to him, vs the alternative.

If Bielsa says “trust fully in our system, work hard and you will get reward” and, after 6 months the players are finding they aren’t getting results and/or getting the ball back like Bielsa says, their work rate will drop off as they aren’t seeing any results.

Our game plan has been wonky since Geelong last year. There are blokes like Butler who aren’t getting rewarded for months now. Their coach is still telling them to work hard, they are trying, but without getting any results for their work they are dropping off.

If tactics get a tweak so our blokes get rewarded for their running and effort finally, and aren’t chasing tail all day, we can improve. One feeds off the other.

If it was as simple as just yelling at blokes to work harder and they did, you’d just hire a drill sergeant from the army and a loud speaker at training and match days.
Yes and no.
I agree that game against the Cats is roughly the marker, but we've been lazy off the ball since then and haven't provided options to the ball carrier, other than bombing to a contest.
In truth we did about the same prior to that but oppo teams clamped down on Butts getting cheap ones the back.
We were a 1 trick pony last year and we all knew it.

It was noted by all comers that the Saints have no plan B
We all said tactics will evolve as the team grows, but that hasn't happened.
We've simply continued from last season with no plan B, not running for space and now the stand rule has made a mess of our plan A.
Lazy from the players, and inept from the coaches too.

The situation with Carlisle has continued from last year without explanation or resolution.
We see Batts on the wing while King gets double teamed still/again, as they bomb it on his head still/again.

Perhaps one thing we've failed to realize is that although we have acquired Ratts, Rath and Roughey, it's still Clarko that was the brains behind them all.
Weather they can recreate the magic remains to be seen, but it's clearly a failure of the coaches that this laziness off the ball wasn't picked up and addressed.
We may well find ourselves in the situation at Richmond where we have the right head coach but he lacks the originality to generate progressive IP.

We assumed this would come from Rath, but having worked and socialized with boffins my whole adult life, l can attest that smart people can also be very very dumb outside of their specific band of intelligence.

Anyways, the sky is not falling. This is a kick in the ar5e for all of them and a return to effort alone will still see us win games again.
Weather the coaches put their hand up or not, the proof will be in the pudding.

There is already enough exposed IP about how to play in 2021 that they can hash together a new game plan and make a go of it.

Let's just wait and see..
 
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