St Kilda coach Brett Ratten reflected on his side’s semi-final loss to eventual premiers Richmond and where they were outplayed on the night.
The Tigers comfortably beat the Saints by 31 points on their way to achieving back-to-back premierships and a third flag in four years.
Paddy Ryder’s absence hurt St Kilda at centre bounces, but they were left to rue missed opportunities in front of goal, finishing with just one less scoring shot.
“There was a lot of upside in our loss,” Ratten told SEN Breakfast.
“We probably missed Paddy Ryder a lot, that’s been a strength of ours at centre bounces.
“Centres bounces were 15-5 and they scored 4.1 to 0.0 out of the centre bounce, where that’s been a strength of ours, so we got dominated in the centre bounce, and I think Paddy would have contributed a lot in that aspect of the game.
“With 10:52 on the clock to go in the last quarter, we had more scoring shots than Richmond, we won contested ball by six, we just needed to finish our work.
“Richmond showed us that you need to be clean and dynamic around the contest. They just had a bit more class and polish at the end of their plays.”
Ratten says Richmond’s ability to contend for a sustained period is something the Saints are striving to replicate.
“They’re a great club. They just haven’t done it for one year, they’ve done it for four in a row now and played amazing footy,” he said.
“That’s our challenge as well so that was probably our biggest lesson.”
St Kilda made the finals for the first time since 2011 and broke a decade-long drought without a finals victory.