Saints AFL loss highlights pattern: coach

St Kilda had the possession and the aggression but again it didn’t translate to scoreboard progression, coach Alan Richardson said.

Speaking after the Saints’ 37-point loss to North Melbourne in Hobart on Saturday, Richardson said it was a disappointing result after his side led the game until midway through the third quarter.

“It’s probably as good a footy as we’ve played in the first half, I reckon, for a while,” the coach said.

“We were really strong and aggressive with our pressure. We just weren’t able to maximise opportunity: we got shots and weren’t able to convert.

“That’s been our tale for a while now … there’s a bit of a pattern.”

After taking a 20-point lead to the main break, the Saints were overrun by a resurgent Roos outfit, in a game that finished 18.12 (120) to 11.17 (83) – a third straight loss for St Kilda.

“Why were we so strong and so aggressive and so up for the fight in the first half? And then after half time, pretty easily pushed aside?” Richardson said.

“If (we’re) going to play and be a good team then we’ve got to be stronger for longer so that will be our focus for the remainder of the year.”

He said there were some admirable performances for the Saints and that young players were given significant roles including Jimmy Webster marking Lindsay Thomas and Hugh Goddard on Drew Petrie.

Leigh Montagna finished with 33 disposals and centre David Armitage had 28.

But Richardson said the message from Saturday’s game is that St Kilda must make more of their opportunities.

“It’s not OK just to take a really good mark and then turn around and kick it back to the opposition, or as a forward get the opportunity to score and not finish your work.”

The Saints next face Geelong next Saturday.

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