David King has questioned Brett Ratten’s post-game comments following St Kilda’s 12-point win over Hawthorn on Saturday, telling the Saints coach: “You can’t have it both ways”.
After coming too close for comfort in almost blowing a 44-point lead in the third quarter, scenes at the final siren were somewhat subdued for St Kilda fans.
The narrative after the game was a strange one given the last quarter drop-off where the Hawks kicked five goals to one, but Ratten questioned that during his press conference.
“Probably everyone that speaks about us speaks about half-empty,” the Saints coach said post-match.
“Every time we speak to somebody we’re not going so well, we don’t do this, we don’t do that.
“We won the game of footy.
“We didn’t play the game for four quarters how we wanted to, but we took four points.
“Everyone can keep looking at how negative the Saints are and what the Saints are doing, we won a game of footy. It would be nice if people say well done for a change.”
The win over Hawthorn came just two weeks after St Kilda released inner-sanctum footage of Ratten imploring his players to challenge each other and drive standards on the field following a disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs.
“We’ve got to push, not concede. We’ve got to ask more of each other, not allow it to happen.”
A post-game reality check. pic.twitter.com/vEZ8gCTE3w
— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) July 18, 2022
That footage came among questions of on-field leadership, and the drop-off against Hawthorn failed to dispel that theory.
However, the win importantly moved St Kilda into the top eight, and the victory could have been bigger had they not kicked 10.15.
“They should have smashed Hawthorn on the weekend,” King said on SEN’s Whateley.
“I’m a little bit with Ratts on this game, they kicked 10.15 and 5.8 from set shots, you’ve just got to have a better return than that.
“You’ve just got to be able to put these games well out of reach and break the hearts of the opposition.”
However, King questioned the comments in relation to what Ratten said a fortnight ago.
“I agree with Ratts a little bit, but hey Ratts, it was only seven days ago you were sitting in front of the group saying we’ve got to raise the bar,” the dual-premiership Kangaroos added.
“So which is it? Can we be positive about what you’re doing as a group, or are we still challenging internally for guys to get better and raise the bar?
“You can’t have it both ways.
“I like what they can do, I don’t always like what they actually do.”
Despite finishing Round 20 in the top eight, the Saints face an uphill battle to hold that spot, playing Geelong, Brisbane and Sydney in their last three games.