October 15, 2019

Richardson pots umpires as end nears for Saints coach

Alan Richardson pointed to poor umpiring as part of the reason for his sides 27-point defeat to Geelong on Saturday night, a loss which all but condemned the Saints coach to the axe.

Richardsons side ran the ladder-leading Cats close at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night, but a pair of late goals from champion Gary Ablett helped seal the deal.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson.Credit:AAP

Ablett had recovered from an earlier hip complaint which led him to spend time in the rooms during the third quarter.

St Kilda are expected to move on Richardson once a finals berth becomes a mathematical impossibility, if not sooner.


Having lost four in a row and nine of their last 11 games, the Saints find themselves three games and a vast amount of percentage outside the top eight, with six rounds to play.

Their finals chances remain mathematically alive, but no better than that.

Gary Ablett of the Cats snaps one of two goals.

Gary Ablett of the Cats snaps one of two goals.Credit:AAP

In his sixth season at the helm, and having failed to make the finals as coach, Richardson has long looked vulnerable.

But he remained defiant on Saturday night, insisting that he wasnt worrying about his future.

Richardson said he found it easy to compartmentalise.

“I find it very easy. Thats my job,” Richardson said.

“I dont even think about it. My focus is all about everything weve covered so far. How can we get better in terms of maximising entry when were having dominant performance? Weve got to make sure that the group continue to drive to the end of the year.

“Its looking less likely now that well play finals, so we can either completely fall away and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can understand that we represent a lot of people, this club means so much to so many people. We can give that the respect that it should be by the way that we play.”

The Saints lost the free kick count 26-14, a fact to which Richardson alluded.

“What did we lose free kicks by? A lot I think. I didnt think the umps had a great night. We made blues but they made blues,” Richardson said.

“It was as much about the non-calls as it was the calls. I dont get caught up too much in the umpiring, because we make blues, and they make blues, but I thought it was pretty inconsistent tonight."

However, Richardson balanced his criticism with some praise for the umpires.

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