Saints chasing fast start against Tigers

Coach Brett Ratten says St Kilda must start well to beat reigning AFL premiers Richmond.
Coach Brett Ratten says St Kilda must start well to beat reigning AFL premiers Richmond.

St Kilda will look to snap a run of slow starts and fly out of the blocks in their crunch AFL clash with Richmond at Marvel Stadium.

The Saints were able to come from behind in their two wins against West Coast and Greater Western Sydney but lost heavily to Essendon and also gave up an early lead in their loss to Melbourne.

"We've had four weeks like that, not just last week so it's something that we need to (address)," coach Brett Ratten said.

"We need to, I suppose not put our backs or the team under pressure.

"That's been a bit of a challenge for us over the last four weeks, where we've started slowly and built our way into games but we need to start (well).

"We don't have to score but we can't let them score either and that's been something that we've had to chase, and you don't need to do that every week."

With both teams sitting 2-2, Thursday night's match shapes as an important one.

Ratten said St Kilda couldn't "waver" in terms of physicality and intent from week to week and needed to deliver greater consistency.

Meanwhile, Richmond counterpart Damien Hardwick was wary of St Kilda's rapid-fire ball movement.

"They were terrific last week. Their last quarter-and-a-half against West Coast was the Saints footy they know and love - high pressure, high contest, moving the ball quick," Hardwick said on Tuesday.

"They've got a system of play that when they do it consistently well is very, very hard to beat.

"So we've got our work cut out for us, there's no doubt about that. If we allow them to play their way, we're in trouble."

Richmond recalled Daniel Rioli and named Kamdyn McIntosh to return from concussion, while Jack Ross and Will Martyn were dropped.

The Saints named an unchanged 22, dropping unused medical substitute Ben Long.

Australian Associated Press