AFL greats unload on Saints over ‘blame’ and  ‘excuses’

AFL greats unload on Saints over ‘blame’ and ‘excuses’

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has ripped St Kilda for its “blame” and “excuses” after another disappointing loss which all but ended its finals hopes for 2021.

The Saints held a 36-point lead against a young Adelaide side in Round 13, before collapsing in the final quarter to go down courtesy of a last-minute goal to Crows youngster Riley Thilthorpe.

Cornes showed little sympathy when assessing the plight of St Kilda, urging for all aspects of the club to be reviewed, namely its “diabolical” injury management.

“I’m just sick of the blame and the excuses out of St Kilda this year,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.

“We’ve blamed the media, we’ve blamed the umpiring, we’ve blamed players not giving Brad Hill the ball.

Riley Thilthorpe’s last minute goal sent St Kilda crashing to yet another loss on the weekend (Getty)

“These are the things we would look at right now: the recruiting, their fitness and injury (management) has been diabolical and their last quarter was a testament to that against the youngest team in the comp, Adelaide.

“Then you look at football, I can’t remember a drop-off year on year like we’ve seen with St Kilda in a long, long time.”

Cornes showed a graphic which has seen St Kilda have an alarming year-on-year drop-off in several key statistics such as points for, scores per Inside 50 percentage and disposals per goal.

“These are the number and they absolutely stare you in the face,” he said.

“We loved them last year and we loved the style of game. Did they do enough pre-season with the longer games?

“Have oppositions worked out the small-forwards getting in over the back, because in every key category they’ve gone from top-eight, some top-four, to a bottom-four side.

The alarming numbers behind St Kilda’s drastic slide down the ladder in 2021 (Nine)

“It’s a mess and I think everything should be looked at.”

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd also backed up Cornes’ point, adding that the manner of the Saints’ losses were more worrying than the results alone.

“I like Brett Ratten’s honesty and the way he speaks, but he’s spoken a lot about how they haven’t adjusted well to a number of things in 2021, yet other teams have,” he told Footy Classified.

“What worries me for St Kilda is the way they’re losing. They were one of the stories of the year last year, everyone jumped on the ride of them winning a final and all those sorts of things.

“They have losses of 75 points, 86 points, 54 points, 111, and the way that game swung on the weekend, you see that things aren’t quite right at St Kilda.”

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