AFL Round 1- St Kilda v Melbourne: NICE

St.Kilda vs Melbourne; Etihad Stadium                                                 

Saturday 22nd March 2014; 7.40pm

NICE:  (Syn: ENJOYABLE, AGREEABLE, PLEASANT, GOOD, FINE, LOVELY, AMUSING, WONDERFUL)

Two new coaches, two teams tipped to be down low this year, first game of 2014 and back with my footy family.  So excited to be here. Umpires being sponsored by OPSM.  Funny and NICE.

Both teams want this.  Both teams come out tackling hard but also full of young blokes and old who make lots of mistakes. It wasn’t just our Saints, the Demons made lots of errors.  Well matched teams.  NICE.

Two quick goals from the Melbourne team, Toumpas and Terlich, and very good play by Jack Watts.  Happy Melbourne supporters sitting in front of us, one with a face painted blue.  NICE.

Lots of pressure all over the ground, great effort, tackling.  Nick Riewoldt running after the younger McDonald, chasing him, and getting the free when he rushed him over the line.  Control of the game changed.  NICE.

Demons playing very well, controlling the ball, supporters happy with the start.  Happy young Sainters being brave and hard, old soldiers stepping up another level.  Clint Jones and Nathan Jones having a scorcher of a game.  NICE.

Melbourne controlled most of first quarter.  Getting to know new Saints and their numbers.  Savage (5), from Hawthorn, Templeton (43) just 19 years old, Delaney (21) from North, Dunstan (36) was 3rd in the draft. Highest Saints pick for years.  More experience for a fit Stanley, Newnes, Roberton, Jimmy Webster, Wright, Saunders. So many new boys. Welcome men and boys.  NICE.

Good game for first gamer Luke Dunstan, misses first shot but gives Saints first score. Senior list showed strength.  Gilbert, Armitage, Geary, Jones, Hickey, Riewoldt, Dempster, Gwilt, Maister, Ray and best on ground, Clint Jones.  Saints defend well and goals dry up for Dees.  More Saints pressure causes them to kick points. NICE.

Tom McDonald hurts leg.  Stanley gets good mark and goals with 2 minutes to go in first quarter. Perfect.  We cheer.  We are happy.  We are on the board. NICE.

Thirty seconds into second quarter, Josh Saunders in his 11th game, kicks a running goal.  They turn it over.  We turn it over.  Poor Maister keeps missing marks but makes a contest.  Hickey and Stanley good at rucking. Nathan Jones very solid for Melbourne.  He’s everywhere, working so hard. So lovely to have Gwilt back in the side.  And Gilbert, even with his few errors. A little of the backwards kicking started. We groan. Nick Riewoldt is possessed, channelling his earlier years and Lenny. NICE.

Sadly for Melbourne, their attack is inaccurate, 8 points in the second quarter alone.  Maister finally keeps a mark tucked into his chest.  Melbourne boys injure each other. Templeton gets the ball, passes to Saunders, runs past and gets it back and gets his first goal as a listed player. Saints lead by a goal. Love the hair and the attitude. NICE. 

The three Saints players we talked to at the season launch, Hickey, Jones and Ray, all played brilliantly.  Now I want to talk to all the other boys.  Rooey makes a captains mark, and kicks perfectly.  Very NICE.

Saints have now kicked four straight goals. Dees 8 straight behinds. Pressure everywhere, fast ball movement by both sides and killer tackling. Saints lead by 9 at half time. Game on.  NICE.

Byrnes kicked one seconds into the 3rd quarter and Dees come out to play. Roberton seems to have a bun at the back of his hair.  Love Roberton.  Lots of hair and beards at Saints, Wright, Geary, and Saunders. NICE.

Stanley kicks his second after a handball turnover from the Demons, fabulous work from Armitage, Riewoldt, Jones, to Stanley. Saints breaking away. Good running. NICE.

More good defensive work and the ball pushed forward starting at Armitage, and Riewoldt gets his second straight goal.  Wonderfully NICE.

Saunders crunches a Dee with a tackle leading to a turnover, Geary to Riewoldt for another spectacular mark and kicks his third straight goal.  Brilliantly NICE.

More scrapping but in Saints forward, good Hickey tap and Armitage kicks from difficult angle, and goals. Celebrating the NICE.

Byrnes finally puts the Demons on the board again and they are behind by 20 points. Billings takes off the vest, and then puts it on again.  Matt Jones chases down Gilbert. Tackling madness.  So many bodies flying.  The crowd are up, noisy. Gwilt to Gilbert to Templeton and he slows play down.  Everyone is stuffed.  Some lovely passing between the Dees as they take it forward but for only a point after all that work.  The story of the night. Maister has great mark and the crowd shouts yeah.  Good for him. NICE.

Final quarter Tyson starts the Dees off with a goal. Billings on and posts his first try for goal.  He looks great. Gwilt gets a goal from 55 out, our defender attacks.  Beautiful. Vince finally has some luck and after four behinds, goals a great one. NICE.

Stanley’s best game in two years. Dunstan is a formidable player in his first game. Geary marks well and gives the game its last goal.  Only points to be had after this.

After Sainters sing the song 4 times, we are happy and joyous and enjoying the moment.  DD visits us as we soak it all in.  DD and our mob are all smiles.  Good start to the season. NICE.

On the train home, I manage to register my MBL app on the phone, with Red Sox as my nominated team.  Have been wearing two scarves tonight, my 2014 Saints one and my lucky Red Sox scarf with the Saints emblem sewn on.  A young man, sitting with his girl, overhears Rina and I trying to work out how to get emoji’s on her Iphone, and because I am a Red Sox fan, he says, he comes to help.  How NICE is that?  Very NICE.

On the platform, a traveller sees our attire and asks about the game, so we share happy St.Kilda news.  How NICE.

St.Kilda are 7th on the ladder until the next game tomorrow night.  Super dooper NICE.

 

St.Kilda 1.3  4.5  8.6 10.8 65

Melbourne 2.2  2.10  4.11 6.15 51

Goals: St.Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Stanley 2, Armitae, Templeton, Geary, Gwilt, Saunders.

Melbourne: Byrnes 2, Vince, Terlich, Tyson, Toumpas.

Best:  St.Kilda: Jones, Riewoldt, Ray, Dunstan, Hickey, Wright, Saunders, Geary

Melbourne: Nathan Jones, Watts, Byrnes, Vince.

Crowd:  31,657

Umpires:  Ryan, Kamolins, Jeffery.

Malarkey Points: Clint Jones, Nick Riewoldt, Nathan Jones.

 

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it’s about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Yvette – I heard your new coach Alan Richardson on the ABC Sunday Inquisition this morning. Incredibly honest, decent, realistic and impressive.
    I took a close interest in your game as there is a family connection to Demons recruit Alex Georgiou.
    Your guys worked their tails off and I was impressed with young Dawson in particular.
    Richardson will develop a fine young team in a couple of years if he is given time and support. You need talls – I still can’t understand selling McEvoy.

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