Saints' AFL slide gathers pace - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints' AFL slide gathers pace

By Sam Lienert and Guy Hand 15/05/2011 07:51:26 PM Comments (0)

The names are mostly the same, but St Kilda coach Ross Lyon admits his AFL team are almost unrecognisable as the losing grand finalists of the past two years.

The Saints' season is all but shot, after they slumped to 15th position by giving up a 32-point quarter-time lead to succumb 14.15 (99) to 10.9 (69) to Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday.

Despite Hawthorn losing defender Stephen Gilham to a serious knee injury early in the match and ruckman David Hale (knee) early in the second quarter, the Hawks outscored St Kilda 14.14 to 5.6 for the last three quarters.

Star forward Lance Franklin kicked five goals for the Hawks.

With the Saints having just one win - against bottom-placed Brisbane - and one draw from seven matches, Lyon acknowledged that they were in a big hole.

"The bottom line is we're not the same team ... even the names that were a part of the past aren't the same players," the Saints coach said.

"The last thing you expect after that first quarter is to get annihilated in clearances and contested ball and (inside-50) entries.

"Everyone's got to get their head around - and I have slowly - that it's a new team, it's a new season, the past is the past. For whatever reason, it's not the same.

"It's as disappointed as I've been in a long time. There's a lot of hard work ahead, there's no quick fix."

While the Saints are languishing, another member of last year's top four, the Western Bulldogs, took an important step with a 23.15 (153) to 18.10 (118) win over Richmond at Etihad Stadium.

The Dogs were coming off three straight losses and the Tigers three straight wins.

But the Bulldogs started superbly on Sunday, streaming 52 points clear less than eight minutes into the second quarter, by which stage Lindsay Gilbee (six goals) and Will Minson (four) had eight goals between them.

Richmond fought back to within two goals midway through the third term, but the Dogs again powered away to climb within one win of eighth-placed Fremantle.

The 10th-placed Tigers are still only out of the eight by two premiership points.

Hawthorn are in fifth spot, two points behind third-placed Essendon and fourth-placed Carlton.

West Coast climbed into seventh spot, ahead of Fremantle on percentage, with a 14.12 (96) to 9.9 (63) win over the Dockers in Perth, a breakthrough victory after Fremantle had won their previous seven meetings.

Geelong are unbeaten on top after their three-point win over Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night relegated the reigning premiers to second spot.

Adelaide (12th) and North Melbourne (13th) are still in the bottom half of the ladder, despite wins over Gold Coast and Melbourne respectively on Saturday.

The Bombers strengthened their hold on a top four berth with Saturday night's six-goal victory over Brisbane at the Gabba.

And Sydney climbed to sixth with their 62-point hammering of 16th-placed Port Adelaide at the SCG on Saturday night.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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