AFL Round 6 – St Kilda v Brisbane: Saints meet their Waterloo in Wellington on ANZAC Day

St. Kilda v Brisbane

7.45pm, Friday 25 April

Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand

by Braham Dabscheck


After last week’s meritorious win against Essendon, expectations were high that the Saints would notch up another win against the winless and bottom side Brisbane. Such was not to be. The Saints could not get going in the first half. Handballs would not stick and/or placed the recipient in a worse position than the fellow player dishing it off. What is wrong with a long kick, when under pressure, down the ground, even if it goes out of bounds!? Kicks, especially those little chips, missed their mark and turned the ball over to opposition players. Brisbane, on the other hand, quickly found its rhythm and always seemed to have a spare man or two running onto the ball.

To make matters worse, Eli Templeton broke his arm in a tackle in the first quarter. He makes the third player, this year, to be badly injured in the first quarter, following Sam Gilbert and Nathan Wright. Also in the first quarter, Nick Riewoldt lost his footing in going for a mark and appeared to have aggravated his knee. He had little impact on the game, other than for a goal in the last quarter.

Given Brisbane’s dominance, the Saints were lucky to be only four goals down at half time. Leigh Montagna had an outstanding first quarter to minimise damage and Sean Dempster had a purple patch in the second. But the Saints looked terrible, flat footed, indecisive and unprepared to take the opposition on.

The second half started badly with Brisbane kicking probably the best goal of the game with aggressive running out of the back line. The Saints looked doomed. The Saints steadied with Lenny Hayes taking charge. The Saints managed three goals in a row, only two goals behind. In the Saints best passage of play for the day, the ball was marked by Jack Billings in front of goal. A straight kick and the Saints would have been only one goal down. He hit the post. The ball went done the other end and Brisbane goaled. At the last change the Saints were down by 19 points.

The Saints dominated the last quarter. Rhys Stanley came alive with several marks and a goal to level the scores midway through the quarter. Brisbane got a lucky one on a goal review. There was enough time left for the Saints to snatch victory. Despite having most of the ball, the Saints squandered chance after chance to end up losing by three points.

This was the Saints second game in Wellington. Last year they lost to the Swans by 16 points in front of a crowd of 22,500. This second game attracted a smaller crowd of just over 13,000. Hopefully a win at the Saints’ second home is not far away.

This was one that got away. While there were some good omens for the future, lack of skills with the ball and shooting for goal cost the Saints dearly. The back line held up well, given the problems further down the field. Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes and Sean Dempster had good games. Rhys Stanley is improving as a big man up forward. A major problem is the Saints inability to kick goals, especially when Riewoldt has an off day. Things were so bad that, at one stage, Clint Jones, a player not renowned for his kicking skills, was the Saints leading goal kicker. Next week’s game against the Hawks will be interesting.


Q1   Q2   Q3     Q4

St. Kilda   2.2   4.4   7.8   11.13 (79)

Brisbane   4.3   8.5  10.9  12.10 (82)


Goals: St. Kilda: Jones 2, Montagna 2, Saunders, Curren, Dunstan, Dempster, Billings, Riewoldt, Stanley.

Brisbane: Taylor 2, Brown 2, Redden 2, Merrett, Aish, Green, Raines, Zorko, West.


Best: St. Kilda: Montagna, Hayes, Dempster, Steven, Geary.

Brisbane: Redden, West, Raines, Zorko, Adcock.

Umpires: Kamolins, Hay, Jeffrey                                                               Crowd: 13,409


Our Votes: Montagna 3 (St. K), Redden 2 (Bris), Hayes 1 (St. K).





  1. I watched the second half of this in NZ with Kiwi friends. The dewy night conditions (inevitable in Wellington on even a fine day like this) make it a poor spectacle. The crowd was derisory and not nearly the 13,000 spruiked by the AFL spinmeisters.
    This is making us a laughing stock in NZ, and detracts rather than promotes the code.
    No more please.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Good report braham. Very disappointing game and awful about Eli . We just have to take a breath next week…Yvette

  3. Really disappointing loss for the Saints. The good teams find a way to win even when they play badly, and we had how many chances in the last quarter to finish the Lions off, but could not do it. Flogging the game from a commercial perspective, and building support for the Saints in NZ is going to be really tough if we keep losing winnable games like this.

    Better off playing the game in the day (before Coll-Ess), rather than trying to play in the dew? Game was unwatchable at times. You have to say that if the game had of been played at Etihad we would have won. We dont want another Tasmania here – lets make this a success, but key to any successful sporting venture like this is to win games and build support amongst the locals. Simple situation – Brisbane were switched on, we were not. Simple as that.

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