Former Sydney coach Rodney Eade used to say sides who declare to don’t have anything to lose within the finals are kidding themselves however within the Saints’ case simply being there’s a success in itself after finishes of 14th and 16th up to now two years.
Zak Jones and Jade Gresham apart, the Saints have a comparatively wholesome record for this time of the season.
The gamble to play Dan Hannebery didn’t return instant dividends because the veteran midfielder was quiet in his first recreation in 11 weeks however in racing parlance he can be higher for the gallop. Given his finals expertise, it was a threat price taking.
Importantly, Hannebery, who has managed simply 26 of a doable 62 video games up to now three seasons, was ready get by way of the sport unharmed, his 13 touches a bonus. The week’s break provides the him one other likelihood to clock further miles in his legs.
Coach Brett Ratten, who has reached the finals in his first season on the helm at Moorabbin, had urged his fees to embrace the stress that is available in such a high-stakes recreation and they didn’t play like a facet daunted at being in uncharted waters.
In slippery circumstances, the Saints have been extra environment friendly of their ball motion, and their staff defence held sturdy regardless of 46 fewer possessions.
Whereas the Giants have been compelled to chip the ball from one wing to the opposite to discover a means ahead, the Saints had extra success choosing the holes left open.
Towards a defence lacking Phil Davis and Aidan Corr, Rowan Marshall and Max King usually discovered themselves in harmful positions. Josh Battle’s affect on the sport was higher mirrored in not what number of instances he received the ball however how hardly ever it was within the palms of his opponent Nick Haynes.
The Giants wanted to win and produce other outcomes fall their technique to make a fifth straight finals sequence however couldn’t honour their facet of the discount.
They have been held goalless after half-time in a depressing end to a marketing campaign which began with such excessive hopes in March however by no means gained any momentum after the onset of the pandemic.
Wins over Geelong, Richmond and Collingwood confirmed their greatest was worthy to be mentioned as a premiership contender however losses to Adelaide (18th), North Melbourne (17th) and Sydney (15th) uncovered a gentle underbelly.
Controversially dumped final week, Stephen Coniglio performed like a person with a degree to show however solely hardly ever was he capable of lower by way of like he has in earlier seasons. The identical could possibly be mentioned for Lachie Whitfield and Josh Kelly, each among the many main possession-getters.
Their midfield was once more effectively crushed, destroyed on the clearances – an space which has been their energy.
Regardless of controlling giant durations of the primary half, the Giants have been introduced undone by poor kicking for purpose.
Jeremy Cameron once more had little impression, although was a part of a ahead line on hunger rations after half-time.
ST KILDA three.three 5.5 eight.9 12.10 (82)
GWS 1.5 three.eight three.10 three.12 (30)
St Kilda: Lonie 2, Steele 2, Battle, Hill, Billings, Membrey, Butler, King, Marshall, Ryder.
GWS: Riccardi, Greene, Lloyd.
St Kilda: Steele, Marshall, Clark, Battle, Ross.
GWS: Whitfield, Coniglio, Keeffe.
GWS: De Boer (again) changed in chosen staff by Cumming.
Ryan, Gianfagna, Mollison.
CROWD 1528 on the Gabba.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald