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29 June
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Persistence pays off for Saints

St Kilda’s coach Scott Watters says the reward for persisting and winning will be significant for his young group. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoHaving twice played well and fallen short, St Kilda coach Scott Watters says the reward for persisting and winning will be significant for his young group.
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”I think you take a lot out of that as a group – that you went through the fire and still got the result, so the boys are pretty happy, and so they should be,” he said after Monday’s win against Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

”It’s reward for the players. Our last two weeks their efforts were very, very good. You go back to Sydney a fortnight ago and last week against Collingwood, so to give the effort and get the reward is a real catalyst for this group.

”For a lot of senior players who have been leading really strongly for us, and younger players, that sort of experience is invaluable.

”I am really proud of them. They were great.”

Watters said youngster Nathan Wright would have scans after a heavy blow to the head which may have broken his jaw, when he clashed with Blues forward Eddie Betts after disposing of the ball.

Watters said it was ”a credit” to Carlton to come back so strongly after being six goals down given it had lost two players to injury before quarter-time.

It was the third successive victory for Watters against the Blues. ”We are having a reasonable run against a side that I really rate and obviously I rate the coach, so to get a result was important for us,” he said.

Watters praised Jack Steven, who had 39 touches, Sam Fisher’s last-quarter composure, Ben McEvoy’s dominant display in the ruck and Nick Dal Santo’s selfless game for the team.

”We challenged [Steven] during the week. In a lot of games this year he has [had] 19-20 possessions in a half and tapered off.

”So that was a focus for him this week to really get the job done. That is the difference between being a B-grade midfielder and elite.”

Nick Riewoldt, with three goals and 13 marks, was the dominant player on the ground.

 
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