Brett Ratten urges Saints not to let their season slip away and admits he 'felt SORRY' for Max King - petsitterbank

Brett Ratten urges Saints not to let their season slip away and admits he ‘felt SORRY’ for Max King

Brett Ratten urges beleaguered Saints not to let their season die with a whimper and admits he ‘felt SORRY’ for Max King after St Kilda record their lowest-ever total against the Swans

  • St Kilda lost 12.11 (83) to 4.8 (32) to Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night
  • It was the Saints’ lowest total against Sydney and the lowest of Ratten’s career
  • St Kilda went into the bye 8-3 but have lost three straight games since
  • Star forward Max King was kept to just one behind at the SCG

Brett Ratten has urged St Kilda to ‘recapture’ the spirit they showed in the first half of the season after his team’s final hopes were dealt a major blow on Saturday.

The Saints endured a dismal night at the SCG, losing 12.11 (83) to 4.8 (32) to Sydney to record their lowest ever total against the Swans and the lowest ever score of Ratten’s coaching career.

The loss was the Saints’ third straight and saw them tumble out of the top eight, albeit only on percentage.

Brett Ratten has urged St Kilda to rediscover the form that saw them start the season 8-3

After winning eight of their first 11 games of the season, St Kilda have yet to taste victory after returning from their bye, a worrying trend which Ratten called on his players to swiftly rectify.

‘Since they bye we haven’t captured that and that’s a challenge for us. […] There are aspects to our game we have to go back to and look at how we did it [in the first half of the season] and why we did it and the roles that people playing in doing it,’ he said in his post-game press conference.

The Saints trailed by 16 at halftime and the Swans effectively put the game to the bed in the third stanza with a five-goal blitz, while St Kilda could only manage four behinds.

Overall, the Saints kicked just two goals in the opening three quarters – their lowest score since they booted two majors and five behinds against Geelong back in 2014.

The Saints have lost three straight games after their bye earlier this month

The Saints have lost three straight games after their bye earlier this month

The Swans put them St Kilda to the sword with a five-goal blitz in the third quarter

The Swans put them St Kilda to the sword with a five-goal blitz in the third quarter

Ratten put the inefficiency down to the way his side used the ball when in possession. The Saints created 20 attacking turnovers but had only goal to show for it, while the Swans booted five majors from their 24 attacking turnovers.

‘Our ball use really hurt us. Our ability to find a target inside 50 or to use the ball to our advantage was probably the lowest it’s been for a while,’ Ratten said.

‘You combine that with cough-ups and the free-kicks we gave away and we just can’t the ball back off them. We’re just giving it back.

‘Whether it’s through our feet, over hand-balling or the way we tackle. We gave away nine high-contact free-kicks. You don’t get a chance to put pressure on the opposition and that hurts you.’

Max King was kept in check by the Swans defenders and could only muster one behind

Max King was kept in check by the Swans defenders and could only muster one behind

Ratten lamented his side to find a target inside the 50 throughout the game on Saturday

Ratten lamented his side to find a target inside the 50 throughout the game on Saturday

A lack of edge offensively made for an incredibly frustrating night for Max King. The forward has emerged as one of the AFL’s best goalkickers this season-only five players have booted more goals than him in the current campaign-but he could only manage to behind at the SCG.

Ratten, however, absolved him of any responsibility.

‘He had no chance, I felt for him tonight. He had to bear the brunt of our ball movement and the way we moved the ball,’ he said.

‘It would have been pretty frustrating for him, but we kicked the ball so badly to him. […] And it’s not about him, most of our forwards will be frustrated with the way we kicked the ball. The kicks were giving our forwards no chance at all.’

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