Be honest, who wrote off the Saints?

So, who wrote ’em off?

There’s been lot’s of ‘sky falling’ commentary going around on social media writing them off. Yesterday, they kicked 18.9 from 49 inside 50s. That’s impressive, compared to the Tigers’ 55 for 13.6 – that’s not actually bad, certainly not bottom-of-the-table stuff.

The metrics the Saints lost: Centre clearances 16-17, marks 76-86, contested marks 8-10, tackles 43-53, time inside 50 4-10. Normally, that would point to a reasonably close game. But it wasn’t. It was an arm wrestle in the first three quarters, then a Saints blitz in the last.

The Saints piled on ten unanswered goals. Sure, we’ve seen multiple goals on the bounce over the round, the Cats with seven against the Pies. That’s the Pies, not the Tigers, a much inferior opposition than Richmond. Sure, the Tiges had a lot of outs but ten on the trot? Against that mob? That’s heady stuff.

Yeah, I know the Pies dispatched the Saints in Round 1, a different team this week though. This week’s Saints demoralise the Pies by 7-10 goals.

The Saints went tall with Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall – it usually pays off, and it did again. Risky against the system of the Tiges though.

So if we break down the last quarter, do we look at where Richmond went wrong, or do we pay credit to the Saints? Bit of both in my book.

The Saints upped the pressure and managed to outnumber at the contest and the outside, no not a force contest forward like the Tiges do but probably a swarm and spread method, and that allowed them run through the corridor and wings. In short, the two-way running exposed the Tiges when they won possession – through outnumbering inside and outside.

Am I convinced they’re a contender? That depends on their ability to be consistent, the $64,000 question. However I am convinced on their potential – that is real, it’s as balanced as any list. Just a case of them allowing themselves their run game, think the Dogs in 2016.

If they bring today to next week, it’s bye bye Hawks.

The three after that: GC at home, GWS away then Port at home. On current form they’d bank all four of those.

So, who wrote them off, Roarers? Be honest.

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