Maitland Saints can expect a tough week of competitive drills after being brushed aside by a more physical Warners Bay on Saturday.
Saints coach Steve Mitchell said the 9.8 (62) to 7.17 (59) loss was one of the team’s worst performances of the year in terms of commitment to running, hardness at the ball and discipline.
Mitchell said experienced players Corey Kennedy and Adrian Hoffman were sorely missed as the Bulldogs tested the Saints mettle with a
physical style of game.
He said Jim Taranto was clearly the team’s best, followed by Jay Mitchell, Stuart Inglis and Justin Smith.
“The backline battled hard all day, but they were put under tremendous pressure by the midfield not following their men forward,” he said.
“We had plenty of chances to win, but inaccuracy in front of goal and a lack of hardness in tackling and at the ball cost us the game.
“Some of the players were more intent on complaining about the umpiring than winning the ball. You don’t win finals with that attitude.
“I think we need to really concentrate on some competitive drills and movement of the ball in tight quarters at training in the coming weeks.”
The loss leaves the Saints in second, one game behind Kilarney Vale and one game ahead of Warners Bay.
They play Singleton at Rose Point Park next week.