K rock Football

Crucial clash for Saints

St Mary’s co-coach Travis Robertson. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

CO-Coach Travis Robertson isn’t shying away from the importance of the next four rounds following St Mary’s winless start to 2019.

Last year’s runner-up was well beaten by reigning premier St Joseph’s in Round 1 and then fell to Bell Park the week before Easter.

They face Newtown & Chilwell this afternoon, before meetings with 2018 finalists Colac, Leopold and South Barwon during May

“We’ve got all the good sides early,” Robertson said

“We’ve spoken about it as a group that there are some pretty key games, and clubs have shown in the past if you don’t get on the winners’ list early in the year then the season becomes pretty hard.”

Robertson says the Saints have used the break to identify where it has broken down in the opening fortnight.

“We’ve been able to play some strong-branded footy; then we let ourselves slip with passages of play. Whether that be the third quarter against Joeys or the first against Bell Park,” he said.

“It’s a similar story; our boys just lose concentration and then it’s hard to chase it down.

“Our stats from the first half of the St Joeys fame were really good; we were really comfortable with where we’re at with our key numbers.

“But it’s not for long enough.”

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Not surprisingly, Robertson says pressure will be a key to beating the Eagles, who have been untroubled in rolling Geelong West and Lara by a combined 220 points in the opening two rounds.

“We need to be able to keep the ball in our forward half, and at the minute our forwards and mids haven’t applied enough pressure to some teams who want to use and can use the ball really well,” he said.

“We try to pride ourselves on pressure – and most clubs do these days – but we haven’t hit the mark.”

Twitter: @tom_king79