Slumping Saints suffer two new blows



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    St Kilda have suffered two major injury blows as their AFL season of great expectation plunges further into disaster.

    Under-siege coach Alan Richardson has confirmed that key forward Paddy McCartin will be out for at least one or two weeks after he suffered whiplash in Sunday’s loss to Melbourne.

    Fellow forward Ben Long, one of their few shining lights in the opening seven rounds, will also miss up to 10 weeks with a bone fracture in his right foot.

    Losing McCartin and Long is particularly damaging for the Saints because the forward line is one of their biggest problems.

    They are the league’s lowest-scoring team and they were cursed by inaccuracy again against the Demons.

    After several encouraging weeks, McCartin was plagued by misfortune in Sunday’s loss.

    First he had an episode with his diabetes early in the game, then he was forced from the field after an accidental head clash with Demons defender Neville Jetta.

    McCartin was cleared of another concussion, but he suffered whiplash in another incident after halftime and did not play out the match.

    “I reckon Paddy will probably miss a little bit of footy – I’m not sure how much,” Richardson told AFL360.

    “I’m hoping it’s only a week or two.

    “He hasn’t pulled up as well as we would have liked … he had a bit going on during the day, Paddy.”

    Long also pulled up sore from Sunday and was diagnosed with a fractured metatarsal in his right foot.

    The round-five Rising Star nominee will be sidelined until well after the bye.

    St Kilda started this season rightly aiming for a top-eight return, but they are third-last with only a win and a draw.

    Goalkicking is a glaring problem, but worryingly Richardson also conceded that they were below-par in areas other than execution against Melbourne.

    “Anyone can look at the way we’re playing at the minute and challenge our method, given that we’re not executing it the way that we know we can,” he said.

    “Now, they were a much better team than us … it wasn’t about execution.

    “There’s been a bit of a lag in many facets of our play, whether that be our offence or our defence.”

    Richardson has a calm, measured public persona and he was asked if he was becoming as angry as Saints fans.

    He noted his furious reaction when a crucial free kick was denied the Saints at the end of the round-five draw with GWS.

    “Two weeks ago, I looked like a raving lunatic,” he said.

    “Getting emotional and carrying on like a pork chop doesn’t do much for the moment.

    “My job is to come up solutions and clearly I haven’t done that yet.”

    The Saints’ slump is having a massive impact on their attendance.

    They are averaging crowds of only 22,936, well down on last year’s 34,601.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • May 9th 2018 @ 10:35am
      Birdman said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Saints may need to do some planning around not having Paddy on their list – sad but he looks a long way off fulfilling his potential.

      • Roar Guru

        May 9th 2018 @ 10:54am
        Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Sad but true. Just bad luck on the concussions though. This is one that can’t really be blamed on the Saints. His form has obviously been impacted by the inability to get a sustained run without a head knock.

    • May 9th 2018 @ 10:58am
      Mattyb said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      Id hardly consider the McCartin injury a new blow,it’s more an ongoing blow.
      I can understand clubs having players on their list with injury issues,but that’s the risk you take,they get injured.
      ive seen a lot of Long and rate him highly,disappointed he’ll miss most of the rest of the season.

    • May 11th 2018 @ 12:20am
      me too said | May 11th 2018 @ 12:20am | ! Report

      Roberton was a shocker – a fair chance he won’t play again. Real hard news for the lad.
      Paddy is a worry – the diabetes looks like it is much harder to manage than the club expected, and is further complicating his concussion issues. Unfortunately i don’t think he’ll make a career.
      Long has shown good promise, so no doubt very frustrating for him, but looking at the two above him, a minor concern.

      That 2014 draft has hurt the club 3 picks in the top 22 and none of them will make it – Paddy, Goddard and Wright. The best performed from that draft has been Lonie (41) and unlikely well see him again unless more injuries hit. That draft on top of 2013 was meant to yield six long term very good players. Unfortunately the club rose to quickly as we needed another couple of drafts to build a good team. We still do. This year we have just one pick in the first three rounds.

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