Brenton Sanderson
Brenton Sanderson

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson felt his side bordered on indulging in 'Hollywood footy', which almost proved their undoing after the Crows' tense four-point win over St Kilda at AAMI Stadium on Friday night.

Ahead by 27 points entering time on, Adelaide looked home and hosed, but a last-ditch Saints barrage almost saw the visitors overrun Sanderson's charges, who appeared powerless to curb the inspired late surge.

Instead of bottling up the contest and going on the defensive, the Crows - as they have done successfully this season - continued to chance their arm and back themselves with aggression, but this time it nearly cost them four points.

"Our good was very good, but our bad was very bad," Sanderson said.

"I did tell the boys to take a risk tonight.

"We did at times look to hit the impossible one.

"Behind closed doors we talk about the difference between taking a risk and playing that Hollywood style.

"We're not ready for Hollywood ... we don't play Hollywood footy, but we are prepared to take a risk. If the kick's there, we back our leg."

Adelaide led at every change and, with the exception of the final term, played the match predominantly on their terms.

They looked dangerous up forward throughout with Kurt Tippett (five goals) and Jason Porplyzia (three) both bagging season-high tallies.

But at the other end, St Kilda regularly penetrated the Crows' defence, often in bursts.

Sanderson was displeased with the shoot-out that developed.

"(I) don't like it - not the way we play," he said.

"I prefer not to play that shoot-out transition footy.

"We prefer to get the ball in our half and keep it in there and just keep wearing them down, grinding them down.

"The open stuff doesn't suit us.

"But for us to be 33 points up with 10 minutes to go must mean we did a lot of things right tonight."

Meanwhile Saints coach Scott Watters took little solace in his side's ferocious finish, which saw them kick six goals to one in the fourth quarter to almost steal victory.

It was St Kilda's second four-point loss at AAMI Stadium this season, after the Round 1 heartbreaker against Port Adelaide.

"I'm loathe to say it was a great fight back at the end," Watters said.

"We got close but not good enough.

"You make your own luck. Our start was poor ... you can't give good sides a jump."

Defender Jason Blake was subbed out after half-time due to 'mild concussion' after copping a heavy knock in a collision late in the second term, while Nick Riewoldt retreated to the rooms with 'minor tightness or a cork' in his leg early in the contest before returning midway through the opening quarter.

The skipper had little impact on the result (nine possessions, two goals) while fellow forward Justin Koschitzke went goalless.

The fact the Saints got so close despite having several experienced players down was a positive sign.

"I admire the courage of our playing group, but I demand more of them as well," Watters said.

"There's no satisfaction in a four-point loss.

"We want to be a top side and we'll be aggressive about continual improvement.

"(We're) 6-6, in need of a break, but ultimately still with our destiny in our own hands going forward."


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