Saints in Load of Trouble
It is difficult to not feel sorry for St Kilda coach Brett Ratten, his players and the club’s supporters.
The Saints have serious financial problems and there seems every chance the situation is going to be aggravated with the re-opening of the season.
After appearing “home” in the opening round St Kilda went down by two points to North Melbourne.
Worse still Ratten’s men face the Western Bulldogs, on the rebound, at Marvel Stadium on Sunday night, Collingwood at the M.C.G. on Saturday week and then Richmond at Marvel Stadium on June 27.
Judging on last season the side is likely to lose each of those matches which will not help the club’s membership drive.
That, in turn, will make St Kilda’s financial position even more precarious.
Fortunately the pressure, presumably, will be eased when the Saints clash with Carlton the M.C.G. on July 4.
Even when operating with an ordinary team Ratten proved his ability as a coach at Carlton where he had a winning record of just over 50 per cent.
Coincidentally it is similar at his new club where he has a three wins and three losses since taking over as coach late in the 2019 season.
Under Ratten’s guidance has recruited two players in Paddy Ryder and Dan Butler, who should work together to bolster the attack.
Despite entering the veteran category Ryder’s ability is complemented by an astute football brain, which should enable him to become a valuable player in attack.
Despite that the Saints seem destined for defeat against the Bulldogs, who finished last season with a rush before being thrashed by Greater Western Sydney in a preliminary final.
The Bulldogs were also well beaten by Collingwood in the opening round but that, according to coach Luke Beveridge, has the players determined to make up for that defeat against St. Kilda . . . and that is how it is likely to be.
The Magpies played most efficiently against the Bulldogs and that will have the team’s confidence on a high going into the encounter with the defending premiers at the M.C.G. on Thursday night.
The Tigers were not particularly convincing against Carlton in Round 1 but Richmond is almost invincible at the M.C.G. and should win a tight match.
The other headline match is that between Adelaide and Port Adelaide – thanks to the State’s government – at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Although Adelaide went down, surprisingly, to Sydney in Match and Port Adelaide were convincing winners the Crows should have the edge.
Last Week Tipped: 5
2020 Total: 5
Richmond by 12pts
Geelong by 18pts
Brisbane by 31pts
Carlton by 10pts
Adelaide by 6pts
West Coast by 58pts
GWS Giants by 17pts
Sydney by 10pts
Western Bulldogs by 20pts