High praise for unheralded St Kilda pair

Nick Hind and Ben Paton won’t often be the headline acts in a St Kilda side laden with high-profile talent across most lines.

But the unheralded pair played important roles in the 53-point thumping of Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Hind kicked three goals from 16 disposals and laid five tackles in the most influential display of his short career to date, starring in the front half as the Saints piled on six final-quarter goals to bust the game open.

“He used his legs, some of his crumbing was first class and he hit the scoreboard,” Saints coach Brett Ratten said.

“That’s a really nice game for him to reflect and see what he can do and get some confidence from it.”

A mature-age recruit from Essendon’s VFL team at the end of 2018, 25-year-old Hind played the first two matches after the season restart in June was dropped after just three possessions against Collingwood in round three.

“He’s come back the last (two) weeks and really added some grunt,” Ratten said.

“The real pleasing part is he was back at the scratch matches and played really well.

“He was disappointed he was out and he tried to do something about it.”

Paton, 21, claimed the biggest scalp of his 25-game career when he held Coleman Medal leader Tom Papley to just one goal.

“Ben’s really growing as a player,” Ratten said.

“He’s around that 30 games now and he’s going to get some challenges.

“He’s going to play on some good players but this was one that was sort of suited for him.

“It’s good for his confidence and these little wins that you have as a player help you grow through your career.”

Papley endured a difficult build-up to the match after a close friend took his own life during the week.

He kicked the Swans’ first goal and paid tribute to the friend by tapping his black armband and pointing to the sky in his goal celebration.





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