AFL Round 8 – St Kilda v Carlton: The Saints and Monday night blues

 

AFL Round 8 – St. Kilda v Carlton: The Saints And Monday Night Blues

 

St. Kilda v Carlton: Etihad Stadium: 7.20 PM Monday 12 May

 

By Braham Dabscheck

 

Two under performing teams meet at Etihad Stadium on Monday night. It was an odd game with more changes in tempo than a family gathering on Christmas day. The first and last quarters were fairly even; and the quarters in between dominated, first by Carlton and then by the Saints. The key difference in the game was Carlton’s ability to turn its dominance into goals – the Blues kicked 8 goals straight in the second quarter, and the Saints into points – 2 goals 7 in the third. These key stats document the Saints loss.

 

The Blues had two goals on the board before the Saints had even gained a possession. Another blood bath looked on the cards. However, the Saints steadied and contained Carlton for the rest of what was an error filled quarter for both teams. With four minutes in the quarter to go, Carlton decided to play keepings off in the backyard to preserve a 2 goal lead. It was one of the worst quarters of football I can recall.

 

The next two quarters witnessed a notable turnaround in skill and intensity. Carlton got going in the second, with the Saints being unable to contain them. The Saints looked particularly good in the third, but were unable to convert pressure into goals. Both teams traded goals in the last quarter, where the quality of play was far superior to that of the first. Again the Saints muffed gettable goals.

 

Carlton’s little guys were fleeter of foot than the Saints, and were more assured with their kicking and passing Carlton kicked a number of running goals and kicked 4 from snaps. Snaps by the Saints, on the other hand, ended up over the back fence. In addition, the Saints missed 4 very gettable goals from set shots. This would seem to explain the result. More generally, the Saints experience problems with delivering the ball into its forward 50. This is a problem they have experienced all year. The Saints have only kicked 75 goals in 8 games and have only had two quarters where they have kicked 5 goals.

 

Good teams have more players forward of the ball to provide more options for when they break from defence. It also creates more space in the back line to stop players getting in each others way. This is something the Saints should start to experiment with. If this is what good teams do then so should the Saints! If nothing else, this will provide another forward outlet and take pressure off Nick Riewoldt.

 

There were signs during the game, especially in the third quarter, where the Saints looked like they were on the verge of being the great team it was only a few seasons ago. The Saints could never be criticised for their lack of endeavour. Lenny Hayes had another outstanding game. Nick Riewoldt was the usual focal point up forward, kicking 4. If only, the team could work out how to convert his crumbs into goals. Where are you Milney? Billy Longer had his best game in the ruck, and Blake Acres, in only his second game, indicated that he could be a player for the long haul.

 

At least this week the Saints didn’t have any major injuries. Next week the Suns. Let’s hope that the Saints can rain on their parade.

 

Q1    Q2    Q3    Q4

St. Kilda   1.1   4.3   6.10   9.15 (69)

Carlton     2.6  10.6  11.7  15.11 (101)

 

Goals

St. Kilda: Riewoldt 4, Billings 2, Acres, Schneider, Dunstan.

Carlton: Yarran 4, Menzel 3, Docherty 2, Simpson, Thomas, Ellard, Jamison, Robinson, Garlett.

 

Best

St. Kilda: Hayes, Riewoldt, Schneider, Billings, Longer.

Carlton: Simpson, Gibbs, Menzel, Yarran, Murphy.

 

Umpires: Donlan, Bannister, Chamberlain                                                 Crowd: 26,708

 

Our Votes: Simpson 3 (Carl), Hayes 2 (St. K), Gibbs 1 (Carl).

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Braham, it’s a great start of the week when we have no injuries to report. I shudder to think of how we will goal in the absence of Nick, so at least we have him a few more years, if his body lasts. Good match report. There were moments when we looked like we had a chance but like you said, our errors in kicking cost us, both in goals and confidence. Nevertheless, there are alwasy promising signs and we saw some on Monday night. Not enough yet for wins, but enough to keep us Sainters hanging in. Thanks for your summary.

    Yvette

  2. Brandon Erceg says

    Good report of the game.
    That first quarter exposed two teams who are low on confidence and trying to find their feet. Like you said, the game was filled with errors for the majority, and there were just an extraordinary number of times where both sides, but I thought particularly St.Kilda, didn’t capitalise on opportunities to score due to making small and basic mistakes which broke the chain of ball movement and forced a stoppage or turnover. A big problem with the Saints is that they try to go to Riewoldt too much. I am by no means having a go at Riewoldt here, because he is a champion and performed well again on Monday night, but there were a number of times where he wasn’t the best option and the Saints went too him anyway, making them too predictable. Arryn Sipposs and Rhys Stanley are two of the major reasons for this happening. They had 16 disposals, 6 marks and 0 goals between them and really had no impact on the game. They performed poorly and for St.Kilda to be able to win games for the rest of this season, they need to step up

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