A turnover in the forward half and the Demons are quick to counter, surging through the middle as the Saints madly scramble to set up their defence.

Zak Jones, holding just outside the defensive 50, prepares himself as the enemy advancement approaches. With numbers on side, the Saints are in an ideal position to cut off the attack.

Two Dees diverge from the incoming wave and Jones calls for two of his midfielders to work back and cover the wide option. The reinforcements don’t arrive.

Outnumbered, Jones is left with no choice but to commit to one and leave the other unchecked. A simple opposition goal eventuates.

The clip from Monday morning’s match review comes to an end. Brett Ratten leaves a few seconds of silence to let it all sink in.

Saturday’s loss to Melbourne remains a tough pill to swallow, but as was the case last year, the hardest defeats provided the most season-defining lessons. It’s no different in 2021.

Zak Jones tackles Trent Rivers. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

The Saints cycle through more vision from Round 2 as the morning's review gets underway. There are only a handful of clips to show, but each tells the same story: a breakdown in communication and awareness in-game.

“And if they’re down, then we lose trust and our confidence. Teams that have success have trust in each other,’ Ratten urges.

"If you don't have trust in your teammates, then where does that leave you?"

“Two games have already passed by. If we don’t talk about this now, then we’ll have 16 games left, then 12, then we’ll hit the halfway mark and go ‘gees, we should have talked about it earlier’.

“So let’s talk about it right now.”

05:43 Mins
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RD2 | Ratten: 'Our ball use wasn't up to scratch'

Watch St Kilda's press conference after round two's match against Melbourne

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Co-captain Jarryn Geary gets on the front foot to back up Ratten, joining the growing conversation between leaders Dougal Howard, Callum Wilkie and Seb Ross.

"We’ve got to care enough to pull our teammates up if something isn’t up to scratch or they could have done better,” Geary says.

“If we’re tiptoeing around these things in fear of hurting other teammates’ feelings, then we’re not going to get to where we need to. That’s not us.”

Geary asks for a show of hands to see who is willing to be challenged by their teammates and hold others accountable week in, week out.

The entire group raises their hands.

Jarryn Geary. Photo: AFL Photos.

Equally, it’s just as much about calling out the individual acts which helped keep the Saints keep in the hunt.

Jones calls out Ross’ tackle on Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney – which was earlier brought up in the morning's roll of footage – as one of the high-points from the game.

“Those are the acts that count,” Ratten adds.

“Every player, one act a minute. It doesn’t have to be a stat or a disposal – it can be picking a bloke up from the ground, directing traffic or telling your teammate to work hard to get to the contest. It adds up.

There needs to be more of these moments. These are the acts that inspire us and lift our energy which get us over the line. And when we were up-and-about last year, that’s when we were at our best.

- Brett Ratten

“If you do that, then you’ve done your role and your team proud.”

Players continue to single out acts of desperation from the match, many of which originated from St Kilda’s leaders: Jack Steele dragging his side into the contest, Ross continuing to do the little things, Howard and Wilkie leading by example and Tim Membrey never giving up, particularly in the second half.  

But it will take more than just the leadership group to lift the Saints up against the Bombers this coming Saturday. 

“We’ve got huge upside, but the one thing I know about this is group is that we respond. We learned that about ourselves last year,” Ratten said.

“We’re better than this.”