AFL Round 2 – St.Kilda v Richmond: The Supposedly Falling Saints v The Apparently Rising Tigers


We’ve all got ‘our team’, it’s the nature of the beast. Most of us also have our second team, the one we have a soft spot for in our heart, then the 2 or 3 teams we absolutely hate. In between there are all the rest. Out bush, 30 years ago, just around the corner from the Bowden clan, the Tiges became my second team. It wasn’t immediate – the boys were not yet playing AFL; Mike had long since retired. Over the years you could hear me or one of my sons say ‘yellow and black’ at different points in any given year. My oldest considered the big shift at some point, around 11 or 12, but the Tiges lost some big match and he stuck with the Saints. One of my worst memories was going to Colonial Stadium with Joel’s wife and two brothers on a Friday night. Just like last Friday – two middle of the road teams on questionable trajectories. Joel ripped us to shreds – clear best on ground. That creates my standard emotional context for games v the Tiges. Love them and hate them (the games and the Tiges). Full of hope and fear, and this deep anxiety. Exactly how I felt about Friday’s game.

The Saints welcomed back Montagna, Schneider, Dempster and Fisher. The ins for Richmond, Petterd and Grimes, not so critical on paper, but good stories just the same. Schneider and Ellis the subs. And former Saint Leigh Fisher lined up with the officials, as the emergency.

Quarter 1

I imagine Tiger fans were as disappointed with the first quarter as were Saints fans, for different reasons. The Tigers could not kick straight, while largely having the Saints covered in the midfield and down back. The Saints had patches of flow, and a couple of very prominent contributors, but in the end would have been happy to be within 10 points at quarter time. Newnes saw a lot of it and Riewoldt ran Rance all over the place – neither relevant in the overall picture. Good to have Montagna back, but Fisher had no impact. Jones on Cotchin a good decisions for the Saints. Martin good for the Tigers.

Quarter 2

Saints were better early, with a re-worked approach to the forward line. But, the other Riewoldt, as well as better skills and a better understanding, seemed to indicate the widely held view about the trajectories of the two clubs was indeed correct. We stayed with them, coming back each and every time the score looked threatening. McEvoy impressed, and played a significant role, but it always seemed they had our number, with the other Riewoldt constantly presenting. The 16 points at half time was representative of the game. The Tigers had more possessions and inside 50s – the Saints had more clearances. Martin good for the Tigers.

Quarter 3

Bloody turnovers. Got within 10 then it blew out again. Both Riewoldt’s the key scoring focus for their sides. Schneider makes immediate impact when he substitutes Siposs. Jones on Cotchin a win, still, for Jonesey. Anyone’s game though at this point. Martin good for the Tigers.

Quarter 4

Cotchin comes into the game, and is important. The Saints work going into the forward 50, and inside the forward 50, lets them down all night. Kept in touch, but Richmond were just better. Positives for both sides, but it is probably fair to say that the trajectory story is right – sliding Saints and rising Tigers. The Tigers more composed, and polished, throughout.

Disappointing. Always playing catch-up, never catching up, the pre-match tensions ebbing and flowing throughout – sitting heavy on me now.

St Kilda: 3.1 6.6 11.7 12.10 (82)

Richmond: 4.5 8.10 12.12 14.15 (99)


St Kilda: Riewoldt 4, Maister 2, Saad 2, Gilbert, McEvoy, Stanley, Milne

Richmond: Riewoldt 7, McGuane 2, Conca 1, Newman, Maric, King, Vickery


St Kilda: McEvoy, Montagna, Riewoldt, Steven, Jones

Richmond: Riewoldt, Morris, Martin, Cotchin, Petterd

Umpires: Donlon, Foot, Mollison

Official crowd: 56,783

Our Votes: 3 Riewoldt (Richmond) 2 Morris (Richmond) 1 McEvoy (StK)


  1. Well summed up Jim. Captured it perfectly. Still hard to know where Saints are at, but sliding is a pretty good summary. Heard Scott Watters on radio this morning, his take? That the elder are now there to show the younger the way. We are now in teaching mode and getting games into the young one, and who shows the work and effort will get the chance to have a go. So we’ll see a round of new faces if they play well at Sandy tomorrow. It will be an interesting year to watch the development and get a chance to say goodbye. By my figuring, this may be Lenny and Nicks last year. Just a feeling. Blakey too.

    Go Saints


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