Saints Steal the Points in the Big Let-down

Once again a long week is over, and a weekend of pulsating footy has finally arrived. What can get more pulsating than the Preliminary Final rematch from 2009? I thought this match could of, maybe it did, but in my eyes, it failed. Big time.

The contest started and Daniel Giansiracusa snapped the first goal before Justin Koschitzke kicked St Kilda’s first two scores, a behind and a goal. Ryan Griffen broke a long period of goal-less footy to put through the Dogs’ second on the run from outside 50 to give the Western Bulldogs a six point lead at quarter time, 2.2 to 1.2.

The second quarter began and Jack Steven got onto the end of a great Michael Gardiner handpass to kick the Saints’ second, before Mitch Hahn marked on the lead, kicking the goal as the tackling of both sides were the highlight of the first half. But one moment that stood out in the second quarter, for all the wrong reasons though, was the Dogs inability to penetrate their forward 50, with the Saints’ zone too strategic and strong. At half time, the Dogs led by 10 points, 3.7 to 2.3.

The second half started and the goals started coming compared to what we’d seen in the past two quarters. Stephen Milne goaled after a 50m penalty, but the Dogs replied with a great kick by Shaun Higgins, Jordan Roughead converting and Barry Hall getting on the end of a great kick by Jarrad Grant, booting the goal. A late goal on the run from David Armitage reduced the margin to 17 points at three quarter time, 6.8 to 4.3.

The final term commenced, and I struggled to keep myself awake. The Dogs failed to give the final blow to St Kilda, while the Saints couldn’t put any pressure on the scoreboard, except for a string of behinds to Milne and a couple to Leigh Montagna. Just as I started nodding off, Milne popped up and converted the first goal of the quarter with just under five minutes to play, the margin at nine points. Judging by Milne’s celebration, the Saints genuinely believed they were a chance of pinching the unlikely win. Armitage hacked the ball out of mid-air in the goalsquare for his second, and all of a sudden the margin was under a goal. Now the Dogs started flooding the backline. The ball spent most of its time in the Saints’ forward line, and at one of many congestions, the ball spilled to Sam Fisher, who snapped the goal to put St Kilda in front. Impossible! The Dogs scrambled to regain the lead, but failed, St Kilda winning one of the toughest, dour games you’ll see in 2010, 7.7.49 to 6.10.46.

This game could change the shape of St Kilda’s season. Without Nick Riewoldt, they were able to beat the predicted Grand Finalist thanks to a five minute burst on dead legs. The Dogs are in disarray with a 3-3 record so far this season, and if they lose to Melbourne next Friday night, many ‘experts’ will have to rethink their predictions of the 2010 season.

Western Bulldogs 2.2—3.7—6.8—6.10.46

St Kilda 1.2—2.3—4.3—7.7.49

Goalkickers:

Western Bulldogs-Griffen, Giansiracusa, Hall, Roughead, Higgins, Hahn

St Kilda-Milne 2, Armitage 2, Fisher, Steven, Koschitzke

Best:

Western Bulldogs-Gilbee, Harbrow, Hahn, Giansiracusa, Cross, Lake

St Kilda-Montagna, Hayes, Goddard, Dal Santo, Fisher

Crowd:

43,072 at Etihad Stadium

Votes:

3: Lindsay Gilbee (WB)

2: Leigh Montagna (ST)

1: Jarrod Harbrow (WB)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. Mick Jeffrey says:

    Some people elsewhere seem to disagree with me, but certainly if we lose next week we may struggle to make the 8, and the questions over the list will get bigger and bigger.

  2. Ian Syson says:

    Was this game really as bad as people are making out? TBH I was engrossed — which is not my usual response to footy. St Kilda’s play and method reminded me very much of the way in which Inter Milan took apart Barcelona earlier in the week.

    One thing that footy has to avoid is legislating against this kind of play. Surely there are ways to beat these tactics on the field.

  3. haiku bob says:

    syso

    I reckon it was more like the ’79 FA cup final between Man U and Arsenal. Often referred to as ‘The Five Minute Final’ because it only got interesting in the last 5 minutes!

    For the record, Arsenal won 3-2 after coughing up a 2-0 half-time lead in the last 5 minutes before scoring a last minute winner.

  4. Ian – you make a good point here. I hate the idea that footy regulators will legislate to try and kill off zoning footy. Let it evolve I say. Attacking footy still wins out as evidenced by the 2009 Grand Final.

    But the most interesting comment is that you, as a soccer man, enjoyed the game whereas a lot of footy heads didn’t. Perhaps therein lies the (traditional) difference between the two spectators and the cultures of the games. Footy has traditionally been about scoring more than your opponents whereas soccer has been about stopping the opponent. Maybe the wheel is turning?

  5. John Butler says:

    Ian

    I agree. The legislators should be an absolute last resort. Every time they tinker with the rules, it always produces unforeseen consequences.

    Each tactical development will bring its own natural response from other teams. The Doggies let themselves be drawn into playing the Saints’ game. ‘Saints Footy’ won’t be around long if it doesn’t produce a flag.

  6. Ian Syson says:

    Dips, I guess that’s right. The problem of breaking down a good defence intrigues me. I like playing and watching chess as well. I remember watching a game of footy once where a goal wasn’t scored by either team in a quarter and the commentators acted as if the sky had fallen in. Again I was intrigued. Sometimes the defences have really good days.

    I wonder however it was that footy got so popular in the early days given that scores were often so low. When did this culture of must-have-scoring emerge?

    Yet soccer is still about scoring and the act of scoring is still the most lauded part of the game.

    HB, that Cup final was a pile of shit rescued by those five minutes. I had 20 bucks on Arsenal btw.

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