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“I don’t buy it”: Is the Saints’ fixture an excuse or a problem for Ross Lyon?


Is it a one-off or the start of a trend?

The footy world is asking whether to give St Kilda a mulligan for its lifeless performance against the Western Bulldogs on Friday, or whether there is a deeper problem.

Saints coach Ross Lyon admitted he was nervous in pre-game interviews with his side coming off a five-day break, a concern that would ring true in the following four quarters with St Kilda pummeled by 60 points.

St Kilda had been dealt a tough fixture and the Bulldogs clash made it three games in 11 days.

But David King won’t have that as an excuse.

“I don’t buy the three games in 11 days (excuse). It’s not a massive shift… if you play on Saturday, Saturday, Saturday (in three consecutive weeks), it’s 14 days,” King said on SEN’s Crunch Time.

“The five-day break I can understand, that’s a tough one…”


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The Saints were -10 in inside 50s and contested possessions and weren’t far off breaking even in clearances. But it was their work rate that was most exposed, allowing the Bulldogs to take 148 marks and move the ball with ease.

Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs also had 22 more tackles while enjoying 75 more disposals.

But they’re figures Luke Hodge is prepared to overlook.

“I’m probably allowing St Kilda a little bit of leeway because the way Ross coaches them, it needs energy,” the Hawthorn champion added.

“The Doggies did the right thing, they took the game away from them, composed ball movement and took a lot of marks to take the Saints’ life out of the game.

“I’m sitting there going, 'I’m not going totally off St Kilda'. Three games in 11 days, two interstate travels in that time, it is going to zap you, especially when the Doggies had a bit of motivation after last week’s performance.”

After their previous three defeats had come by a combined 13 points, the latest loss left Lyon and co. with a 2-4 record.

A clash with Port Adelaide looms next week, but the Saints will pencil in wins against North Melbourne and Hawthorn the following fortnight.

St Kilda

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