Riewoldt struggling for Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt struggling for Saints

Greg Buckle 19/06/2011 02:02:25 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda's midfielders need to accept some of the blame for the poor form of star forward Nick Riewoldt, according to team-mate Leigh Montagna.

Riewoldt was held to only five possessions and no goals in the first three quarters of Saturday night's 28-point loss to Geelong at the MCG.

The four-time All-Australian had another two touches in the last quarter in an onball role and is struggling to carry the team which has faded out of top-eight contention after making the grand final in the past two seasons.

"The press and all those sorts of things, the way that Nick plays his game, it's just getting harder and harder for him to get out and burn his opponents off and win those marks that he has been renowned for for 10 years," Montagna told the Seven Network's AFL Game Day program.

All-Australian midfielder Montagna says the Saints, who have won only four-and-a-half games out of 12, need to provide better delivery to Riewoldt.

But another inconsistent and injury-interrupted season from fellow key forward Justin Koschitzke is not helping Riewoldt's cause.

St Kilda's poor ball use contributed to coach Ross Lyon's decision to storm out of the coach's box before Saturday night's game was over and head straight to the white board in the change rooms to illustrate his point.

Montagna said Riewoldt had heavy shoulders because he had been carrying the Saints for so long.

"He is just frustrated," Montagna added on Sunday.

"It doesn't help with the way we use the footy. Normally it's two against one with Nick.

"He has really been our only major tall target for most of the year.

"His effort is always there. But at the moment it's not working for him and we're not really helping him as a team.

"We're not providing him with enough options and enough opportunities.

"You see what Collingwood are doing with Travis Cloke and we just can't do the same with Nick at the moment."

Lyon claimed he was just trying to clear his head after the club's seventh loss for 2011.

"That was so I could get down to the rooms. There was 30 seconds to go or something," Lyon said.

"I just wanted some clear-think time."

Lyon said the basics of the game let the Saints down, including dropped marks and missing targets.

"He (Lyon) was basically frustrated with our game as were the players," Montagna said.

"Just our polish and our lack of converting all our ball onto the scoreboard really hurt us."

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