The Roar
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Saints may fare better than expected

Roar Guru
24th February, 2014
12

Scott Watters sadly conceded last season his side were officially in a rebuilding phase. And even as Alan Richardson’s tenure begins, St Kilda still are.

What I find interesting is the fact they are almost universally expected to finish down the tail end of the ladder this season. I’m not expecting them to play finals by any means, but I get the feeling the Saints may not be in for a year quite as torturing as many believe.

This side has a couple of midfield assets in Jack Steven and David Armitage who are only a step away from joining the elite bracket.

We musn’t forget the fact they have lost some serious experience and quality in Brendon Goddard and Nick Dal Santo in the past 18 months.

The Saints tasted victory just five times last season, yet the thing about them is, despite plenty of losses, they remained competitive most weeks and were rarely blown away.

They lost games to Port Adelaide, West Coast, Sydney, Richmond and Gold Coast by under 20 points.

Playing four quarters was one problem for the Saints, but also their inability to kick a winning score.

What St Kilda have done really well is plan for the future.

Despite losing Ben McEvoy, they are set up now with two young rucks in Tom Hickey and Billy Longer.

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If the old heads in Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna can fight on for one more year, who knows, St Kilda might well exceed expectations.

Let’s not forget the importance of All-Australian defenders in Sam Fisher and Sean Dempster.

St Kilda start the season off with games against the Giants and Melbourne. Should they come away with two wins here we could see a new breed of confidence that steers them to a respectable output of seven or eight wins.

I’m not expecting big things, but I get the feeling they can show a bit more than what many think.