Football and Sports News

St Kilda Saints v Western Bulldogs, Nick Riewoldt, Tim Membrey, spare man, Max King, outnumbered, season on the line, finals

St Kilda have been dubbed the “football club talking about everything” after their shock defeat to the Western Bulldogs, with one particular tactic leaving one club “shocked”.

The Saints carried the ball easily in the opening half and converted all five of the Dogs’ first quarter goals.

Nick Realt was called upon to put Tim Membre behind the ball in a six-goal game at half-time with his season on the line and the Saints making just 11 tackles.

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“I was shocked when I saw this,” he said on the couch.

“Six goals down against an opponent vulnerable behind the football, you didn’t test them in the first half because you want to play defences, no competition, perfect football. And you send one of your forwards to start the second half – you’re coming out of half time when there’s no energy – behind the ball… I don’t understand what this is!

“All of a sudden you’ve got five goals in front of the ball and you’re six goals behind.”

Fox Football’s Gary Lyons said the move “speaks of a defeatist attitude.”

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“It makes me ask the question – do they care enough? 11 balls in half a foot?” he said.

“It is an international football club.

“Your season is crumbling before your eyes.

“Then you have a generation of keys (by Max King) who are suddenly trying to break away and now they’re trying to get a two-vs-one look.

“It was worse than a strange night.

“This is not an opportunity to come and win.”

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Jonathan Brown said he was concerned after the Saints failed to create any pressure in the first half, with manager Brett Ratten in the spotlight heading into the Round of 18 clash.

“I can’t explain” where it went wrong for the club after such a promising start in 2022, which saw them sit at 8-3, Riewoldt said.

Since mid-season, however, St Kilda have managed just one win in six games.

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