Persistent issues continue to mar Saints and Bombers’ seasons

By Roger Vaughan,

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    St Kilda and Essendon have hang-ups that are well on the way to killing their AFL seasons.

    The Saints’ woeful goalkicking on Sunday, especially early, cruelled any chance of an upset win over Melbourne.

    The day before, Essendon were once again awful in the third quarter, scoring just one rushed behind as Hawthorn went on a six-goal run that decided their match.

    Just as the Saints cannot seem to hit the side of a barn door when shooting for goal, Essendon are the only team not to win a third term after seven rounds.

    The Bombers have lost the term nicknamed the premiership quarter by a combined total of 136 points.

    Likewise, St Kilda were 28 points down at halftime against Melbourne after kicking a wasteful 3.8.

    They kicked the opening two goals of the second half to give themselves a shot, but Melbourne quickly slammed the door shut with a three-goal burst.

    Obviously, these are not the only problems for the Saints and Bombers.

    Like Essendon, St Kilda also handballed more than they kicked.

    “That’s not our want,” said Saints coach Alan Richardson after his Bombers counterpart John Worsfold said much the same the day before.

    But bad goalkicking is bad football and so are bad third quarters.

    “I get incredibly frustrated for us, I get frustrated for the players,” Richardson said of their inaccuracy.

    “You’re just not going to beat good teams – you’re not going to beat anyone really, given how even the competition is, unless you can take advantage of your opportunities.”

    Worsfold was deadpan after Saturday’s 23-point loss, saying his players would have nightmares about the third quarter.

    But he also said they had put measures in place to play better after halftime and they clearly had not worked.

    The problem for Richardson and Worsfold is that these issues are fast becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

    After coming into the season with high hopes, Essendon and St Kilda are in the bottom four.

    “I’ve challenged the group to not let that (poor goalkicking) affect you,” Richardson said.

    “After halftime, we were really strong for about 10 minutes, (but) we weren’t able to maximise.

    “It did seem a little bit today like – and it’s disappointing, but I think it’s understandable – that we then lost a bit of drive.

    “It was if the energy had been sapped out of the group … there’s a fair chance it was deflating.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • May 7th 2018 @ 2:29pm
      Harsh Truth Harry said | May 7th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

      The only “issue” affecting the Bombers is Gilligan at the AFL allowing the game to become rugby. Woosha is trying to make us an exciting team to watch but the rolling scrums are a disgrace! Gilligan will be remembered as the CEO who allowed our game to be destroyed!

      • Roar Guru

        May 7th 2018 @ 4:33pm
        Cat said | May 7th 2018 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

        Congratulations on finding yet another lame excuse for your sides pathetic efforts.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 9:14am
        Don Freo said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        What’s wrong with the game? Everyone loves watching their sides…except you.

        Gone off them?

        What would you change that would allow Essendon to do what other clubs already can do?

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