ST KILDA coach Brett Ratten says his side’s final term fadeout against North Melbourne on Saturday was unacceptable, after the Saints conceded five of the last six goals but held on to win by 20 points.
While the Saints never looked like losing the game and led all day, Ratten bemoaned his side’s inability to compete for four quarters.
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He said he talked to his players post-game and made it clear they needed to be ruthless, even after the game was seemingly won when 43-points up at three-quarter time.
"To get the four points was what we’re after but I think the last quarter was not to our liking at all," Ratten said.
"To get outscored five (goals to) one … we’ve got to be better than that.
"That’s what we talked about, our expectations and what we’re trying to do as a team. We just can’t think 'it’s easy, we’ve won the game', we don’t want to be like that."
While Saturday’s win was a big improvement on last week’s 111-point thrashing against the Bulldogs, the Saints would be concerned with the form of prized recruit Brad Hill, who finished with just six touches.
Hill – who was tagged out of the game by North youngster Bailey Scott – has had troubles racking up the ball this season, collecting only 10 disposals against Port Adelaide and Richmond.
Ratten admitted that Hill set high expectations for himself which he was currently failing to meet.
But he said some of the blame needed to be directed towards his teammates, who were not helping bring the speedster into the game.
"Even towards the end there, how doesn’t he receive a handball going inside 50 (when) he’s in the right spot?" he said.
"They’re some of the things I was talking about, not doing the predictable thing for your teammate. And then everyone says 'Hilly only had six touches' but he should have got it four times with handball receives but we didn’t give it to him.
"Especially in the last quarter I thought he was in some really good spots, but we chose not to."
North Melbourne coach David Noble was pleased with his side’s final term comeback, but was also disappointed with his side’s failure to compete for four quarters.
He was especially critical of his side’s pressure in the second quarter, when the Roos laid only seven tackles.
"We didn’t bring that pressure that we wanted to. And credit to the Saints. They owned the corridor and forced us to go a bit wider, they slowed us down with our ball movement," Noble said.
"And the second half we won, but we are still chasing that consistency of the four quarter effort. That's obviously the frustrating piece."
Noble was full of praise for Bailey Scott’s job shutting down Hill, while also collecting 14 touches himself.
"I thought Bailey was outstanding. We forced them to move Hill in the end," he said.
"It was a credit to Bailey, it was that first role as a defensive forward he's played for us. I thought he executed it to an absolute tee."