Sex claims could disrupt Saints: Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sex claims could disrupt Saints: Craig

By Steve Larkin 28/05/2010 03:00:30 PM Comments (0)

The schoolgirl sex allegations that hit St Kilda this week have the potential to disrupt their AFL preparation, Adelaide coach Neil Craig says.

But Craig expects the maturity of St Kilda - his club's opponent on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium - to prevail over the controversy.

Craig last week dealt with his own crisis when the Crows suspended three players for ill discipline following late nights out.

Adelaide responded to their controversy by posting just their second win of the season, with Craig uncertain to the extent which the bans galvanised his troops.

Two St Kilda players were cleared of wrongdoing this week after allegations they had sex with a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

The schoolgirl claims she is pregnant after having sex with the unnamed players.

The AFL and St Kilda have declared the matter closed but Craig said the issue could impact the Saints' preparation for Saturday night's Etihad Stadium match.

"It takes up time," Craig said.

"Everybody in your football club, it takes up time because to address that you need to have communication, and sometimes it's long communication, debate.

"So it's time that you wouldn't normally spend in your typical preparation, it's additional time - if it's additional time, you start to take time from somewhere else, so it's never ideal.

"We have been through a week ourselves with this, last week - it's not ideal."

But Craig backed St Kilda's maturity and strength as a club to not let the controversy impact their performance on Saturday night.

"They are a very mature club, they have got mature players, so you would expect them to be business as usual," Craig said.

Craig has made three changes to his side which beat Brisbane last start, the most noticeable being the shock retirement of Tyson Edwards.

One-gamer Jack Gunston has been dropped, as has onballer Myke Cook.

The Crows have recalled ruckman Jon Griffin and youngsters Tony Armstrong and Rory Sloane.

Craig said St Kilda, who have replaced Nick Heyne with Robert Eddy, have started to return to their best following a lean trot.

"Their defensive mechanism has returned very strongly and so they are going to be a tough team to score against," he said.

"They have always been a very strong defensive team, as good as any in the competition."

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