AFL Round 5 – Essendon v St Kilda: Saints heavenly; Dons bomb.

Essendon v St. Kilda

7.40pm, Saturday 19 April

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne


April 19, 2014 by Braham Dabscheck


There are games that are defining, and this was one of them. With a change at the helm it was unclear how the Saints would travel in 2014. An easy draw had given the Saints winnable games against the Dees and Greater Western Sydney, the latter at home. A trip to the West Coast resulted in a predictable solid effort and a loss, followed by a dispiriting thumping against the Crows at home. Not being one who has ever tipped against the Saints (after all, what does it mean to be a supporter if you tip opposition teams?), those who know such things had pencilled in a win for the Dons. This was despite a thumping by the Dockers away, the week before, which exposed their lack of key forwards. This would prove to be their Achilles heel again. A bonus for the Saints was that Brendon Goddard was injured, unable to inflict harm on his former club mates.


The game started with the Saints dominating but unable to kick straight. The Dons rallied and put on three goals, with two lucky ones. The Saints steadied and Jack Billings kicked a pearler running into the forward 50. The Saints were back in it. Then the Dons kicked to late ones at the end of the first quarter to jump away. Three of their goals had been flukes. One had that sinking feeling that this was to be another game that would get way. Such was not life.


From then on the Saints took over. Adam Schneider, who returned for his first game of the season, dominated the second quarter. Nick Riewoldt came into the game and kicked two. The Dons, who had two lucky bounces of the ball for goals in the first quarter, had a snap land on the goal line and bounce upwards to Saintly heaven to be cleared by Jarryn Geary. To add insult to Dons injury, Geary kicked a late goal from an Essendon kick out to have the scores equal at half time. The Saints looked a chance with everyone playing their role.


The second half was a continuation of the second quarter. The Saints dominated the play, outscoring the Dons 7 goals to 4. Riewoldt was the key player kicking another three goals. Leigh Montagna and Lenny Hayes marshalled the mid field, with Montagna snapping a crucial goal from a ball up in the forward pocket in the third quarter. Ryhs Stanley picked up marks in the forward half of the ground, providing an alternative outlet and taking pressure off Reiwoldt. The back line held firm. Jimmy Webster had a break out game. He won a key contest against Jobe Watson, robbing the Dons of a goal when the scores were tight. He was involved in a number of assists which resulted in goals, none more important than his pass to Riewoldt in the last quarter that resulted in an easy goal. All 3 last quarter goals were virtual strolls into the goal square. Better than an Easter egg!


The bottom line is that the Saints look competitive, with their mix of the old brigade and younger players. Next week’s trip to Wellington against a depleted Brisbane may see the Saints 4 and 2 after six rounds. The Eight may be beyond the Saints; but the same applies to a number of other teams. Hope springs eternal for Saints fans.


Q1   Q2     Q3     Q4

Essendon:   5.0.  5.2.   7.7     9.11 (65)

St. Kilda:    1.6.  4.8   8.11   11.15 (81)


Goals: Essendon: Stanton 3, Jetta 2, Melksham 2, Myers, Ryder.

 St. Kilda: Riewoldt 5, Billings 2, Schneider 2, Geary, Montagna.


Best: Essendon: Stanton, Watson, Hooker, Chapman, Myers

St. Kilda: Riewoldt, Schneider, Montagna, Hayes, Stanley.


Umpires: Fisher, Stevic, Harris                                                       Crowd: 36,041


Our Votes: Riewoldt 3 (St. K), Schneider 2 (St. K), Stanton 1 (Ess).


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Great match report for a great match for the Saints. Loved being there and reading your article brings back all the smiling!

    Well done Braham
    Go Saints


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