Round 4 – Collingwood v St Kilda: Saints Out Tackle Pies In Pulsating Game
By Braham Dabscheck
Sunday April 16, 3.20 PM
This was a cracker of a game. The ball moved up and down the ground as both sides struggled for ascendancy. The Pies lack key forwards and rely on their medium to small brigade to open up the play. The Saints left out a big (Paddy McCartin) and brought in a small/medium in Ben Long, the nephew of the Bombers legend Michael Long, for his first game. He did enough to show that he can play. Praise be that there is no uncle nephew recruitment rule!
The Pies dominated the first quarter and the signs did not look good for the Saints at the first break. What saved the Saints was the tenacity of the backline and poor kicking for goal by the Pies. They kicked 2.6 to the Saints 1.3. Particular mention should be made of the performance of Jimmy Webster in this quarter; a standard he maintained throughout the game. He is a great reader of the play, fearless in getting in the way and breaking up opposition forward thrusts, quick with the ball in hand and possesses a long and accurate left foot. A player who rarely attracts much attention, he had one of his best games for the Saints.
This wasn’t a game that can be attributed to a few stars. This was a victory due to a team effort. There wasn’t a weak link in the team. The Saints’ midfield prevailed over the Pies. The defence was superb throughout the game with all of them doing something important when it needed to be done. The Saints’ forwards did enough, despite leaving their kicking boots at home. to ensure victory. Jack Billings had one of his better games and Tim Membrey, for the second week in a row, took a strong mark in the last quarter and kicked straight to ensure victory.
The second quarter replicated the arm wrestle of the first with the Saints having the edge. The Saints outscored the Pies three goals to one. Josh Bruce grabbed two, one from a left foot banana on the boundary line which brought a guilty smile to his face and the second by a mark, separated by a crumbing goal by Jade Gresham. The Saints in front by a goal at the main break.
The second half was a different game. The Saints changed gears and, except for the last five minutes of the last quarter, dominated the game. The only problem, especially in the third quarter was accuracy in front of goal. The Saints kicked four to two in the third quarter. Three were from the goal square and one from inside the 50 following a strong mark by Nick Riewoldt.
The Saints dominated most of the last quarter but couldn’t put the Pies away. Eventually the Pies worked their way back into the game. They kicked two in a hurry and looked a chance. In the last five minutes the team replicated its efforts of the first quarter and out laid tackle after tackle; eleven tackles in this period. One by Jack Newnes on Adam Treloar with less than two minutes to go, which wasn’t rewarded with a free kick, was the pick of the lot. The Saints won the tackle count 88 to 55. After the first quarter the Saints won the tackle count 71 to 38 and the inside 50s 51 to 32. The game was won in the middle two quarters with the Saints outscoring the Pies seven goals to three.
Next week the Saints take on the Cats. Hopefully, they will bring their kicking boots with them. Jack Steven will probably return from injury and with luck, David Armitage will not have succumbed to injury. An important win to get the season back on track.
Collingwood: 2.6 3.7 5.8 7.13 (55).
St. Kilda: 1.3 4.7 8.12 9.15 (69).
Collingwood: Hoskin-Elliot 2, Fasolo, Crisp, White, Blair, Schade.
St. Kilda: Bruce 2, Membrey 2, Montagna, Gresham, Riewoldt, Acres, Billings.
Collingwood: Adams, Treloar, Sidebottom, Grundy, Howe.
St. Kilda: Roberton, Webster, Newnes, Riewoldt, Billings.
Umpires: Hay, McInerney, Nicholls.
Our Votes: Roberton 3 (St. Kilda), Webster 2 (St. Kilda), Newnes 1 (St. Kilda).