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Saints ruckman injured in loss to Eagles
By Justin Chadwick
21:34 AEST Sun May 20 2012

St Kilda coach Scott Watters admits his club's ruck stocks are in desperate need of replenishment after watching Rhys Stanley succumb to injury in Sunday's 30-point AFL loss to West Coast at Patersons Stadium.

Stanley injured his hamstring in the opening term of the 18.13 (121) to 13.13 (91) loss, leaving forward Justin Koschitzke and defender Jason Blake to carry the ruck load for the remainder of the match.

The pair toiled manfully against powerful West Coast duo Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox, but the Saints were still smashed 49-24 in the hit-outs.

St Kilda's No.1 ruckman Ben McEvoy is currently sidelined by a knee injury, and Watters said the club needed more depth in the key position.

"It's a deficiency on our list that we need to address certainly from a drafting point of view, but it is what it is," Watters said.

"You can't complain about it, but we certainly need to adjust it.

"Jason Blake's 189cm, so it's a big challenge for him.

"It's not ideal, but that's where out list is at."

Stanley will undergo scans on his hamstring, but Watters was hopeful it was only a minor twinge.

The Eagles were utterly dominant in the opening half, and had the game seemingly in the bag after going to the long break with a 49-point lead.

But a frenetic third term saw St Kilda cut the deficit to 15 points, before West Coast steadied in the last to secure their seventh win of the year and reclaim top spot.

West Coast ruckman Dean Cox booted a career-high five goals, while Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff and Beau Waters (two goals) were also crucial in the win.

St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt finished with four goals, including three in the first half, but the Saints' slow start to the match ended up being their downfall.

The Saints entered the game off a six-day break following Monday's win over Carlton, but Watters refused to use the short turnaround as an excuse.

And it's just as well, with St Kilda facing another six-day turnaround ahead of Saturday's clash with Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

"You have to be resilient and you have to push through that," Watters said.

"On one hand it was pleasing that the group was able to fight back after a very poor first half, but I'm not going to sweep the first half under the carpet either. We need to address that as a group."

Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis was a late withdrawal due to concussion, but Worsfold was confident the 27-year-old would be fit for Sunday's western derby against Fremantle.

"Usually the symptoms can linger for three or four days at the most," Worsfold said.

"It lingered more out to six days for Matt this time, but with every day that's going by he's feeling a heap better."

Worsfold equalled Mick Malthouse's record of 243 games at the helm of West Coast, and will become the outright holder of the most games coached at the club when he leads his team into battle against Fremantle.


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