St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has quashed speculation over Saints pair Paddy Ryder and Bradley Hill being dropped for the club’s round 15 clash against Sydney as punishment for a public incident the weekend prior.
Hill, Ryder and a third teammate reportedly traded words with patrons of a venue in Melbourne beachside suburb Mordiallic on Saturday, June 18.
The club released a statement on Monday night labelling the rumours over their omission for disciplinary reasons as incorrect, stating all three players left “without a fight ensuing”.
At St Kilda’s training on Tuesday, Ratten defended the players and questioned the motive behind the claims.
“The boys went to a hotel, had a few beers, a few words were said, and they left,” Ratten said.
“That’s what happened.
“It does make me think there’s not much out there to take a story of somebody said something, people left and next minute we’ve got these players and we’re putting them in hot water over violence.
“It is so far from the truth.”
Ratten said he felt for Ryder and Hill, throwing onus back onto the media for “jumping at shadows” without proper evidence.
He clarified Hill, 28, was made unavailable due to personal circumstances and that Ryder, 34, was managed with achilles troubles.
The players’ decision to drink during an eight-day break between matches was defended by the coach.
After a strong start to the season the Saint’s have fallen to 10th place following a string of defeats.
St Kilda face Carlton 7:50pm AEST Friday Night at Marvel Stasium.