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AFL sledging not to blame: Saints coach

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson says the week-long sledging issue is no excuse for his players' poor response in their AFL loss to Sydney.

AFL sledging not to blame: Saints coach

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson says the week-long sledging issue is no excuse for his players' poor response in their AFL loss to Sydney.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson dismissed any suggestion the week's sledging saga played any part in the 50-point loss to Sydney.

"That would be taking way too much credit away from Sydney," Richardson said.


"Energy doesn't affect your kicking, it affects your running, your ability to compete and fight. No, it was much more about our execution and Sydney, really.

"They were too good for us, they just outplayed us. It shouldn't have been that margin, but it was because we just butchered the footy.

"Part of that was Sydney, but too often we had players that weren't under pressure and weren't ability to execute, whether that was rebound or entry. They scored too much from our own kick from the back and from our poor kick going inside 50. We hurt ourselves with our use (of the ball)."

St Kilda's lone excuse was being restricted with interchange rotations for the last three quarters after midfielder Jack Newnes came off second best in a bone-jarring contest with Swan Callum Mills late in the opening term.

Newnes won't have fond memories of his 100th game - if he has any recollection at all - as the club medicos ruled him out for the rest of the game with concussion after a long consultation in the dressing rooms.

"Newnes is a massive runner, so that has a little more impact. Those runners are really important, but that would be underselling what they did to us. They were too good for us," Richardson said.

"His act was symbolic of the way Newnesy has played all through his career. We ended up scoring on that play and it was disappointing not to have him for the rest of the game, but we had more issues."

It was a brave attack on the ball by Newnes and Mills and resulted in a goal to St Kilda forward Jade Gresham that helped keep the Saints in touch with the fast-starting Swans early in the game.

AAP


AAP



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