Saints Face Tough Test Without Jack Carlisle
St Kilda will face two of the AFL's toughest opponents without key backman Jake Carlisle after the AFL tribunal upheld his striking ban.
The two-game suspension could barely have come at a worse time for the Saints who take on ladder leaders West Coast at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.
They follow up the toughest road trip in the league by hosting Lance Franklin and his fourth-placed Sydney side at Etihad Stadium.
The 16th-placed Saints could conceivably have gone 11 matches without a win and be bottom of the ladder by the time Carlisle returns for the clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium in round 13.
Carlisle was cited after Richmond premiership forward Jack Riewoldt was concussed in his clumsy and late attempted spoil during the first quarter of Saturday's clash at the MCG.
AFL match review officer Michael Christian assessed the incident as careless conduct with high impact to the head, resulting in a two-game sanction.
Dermot Dann QC, representing Carlisle, entered a guilty plea but argued that the impact was medium rather than high, which would have led to a one-game ban.
But after an hour-long hearing on Tuesday night, the jury of Wayne Henwood, Richard Loveridge and Shane Wakelin took just under 10 minutes to dismiss the challenge.
"Obviously I'm disappointed with the outcome," Carlisle told reporters as he left the hearing.
"I spoke to Jack after the game and resolved everything.
"I'm just disappointed I won't be able to play the next couple of games with the guys."
St Kilda aren't considering appealing the verdict.
The Saints didn't risk any extra games with a failed challenge but must now pay a $10,000 fee that counts against their soft salary cap.
Before Carlisle, five players had opted to challenge suspensions this season with just two successful.
Geelong skipper Joel Selwood and North Melbourne counterpart Jack Ziebell each managed to overturn one-match bans for striking and kneeing respective opponents.
West Coast superstar Nic Naitanui, Adelaide's Richard Douglas and Richmond's Jack Graham had their suspensions upheld.