AFLM Round 4 – Collingwood v St Kilda: Winning ugly has become our thing


Etihad Stadium

3.20 pm, Sunday 17 April
Yvette Wroby



I wrote after the Brisbane game last week that Kelli Underwood had said Saints were winning ugly.  In this game against the Pies, we’ve made it our style, our thing.  Collingwood and St Kilda both had passages of superb passing, magnificent skills and terrific goaling. But we both had terrible in front of goal misses, hand balling to the opposition and stuffing up what looked to be wonderful, attacking ball movement.


But St Kilda won, and I hope that becomes our thing too.


I was surrounded by love– we were near other Saints supporters, and I was joined by Lyn (a Pie) and Stephanie Holt and Lydia (Saints), plus my usual companions Uncle Bob and cousin Gary.


Sitting high up on Level 3, we could see it all play out before us.  On the radio, they said things like ‘the error count keeps rising’, and it’s a ‘error riddled tight contest’ and there were ‘sloppy skills’. ABC 774 got all that perfectly correct.


Both groups would move the ball well – until they stuffed it up.


Alex Fasolo goaled first from a good mark. It was all Collingwood but they also missed three shots on goal.


It didn’t help them that our defence had the best game I’ve seen.  Jimmy Webster was everywhere, Dylan Roberton unbelievable, Jake Carlisle and Nathan Brown steady all day. Jarryn Geary had his best game as new Captain.


Half way through the first quarter, we had our turn at misses: Jack Billings misses two, Jamie Elliot takes a perfect mark, Lyn is very excited next to me, until from 35m out he misses.


It’s like watching bad ping-pong. Taylor Adams misses.  It takes until 3 minutes before the siren for Nick Riewoldt from a perfect Leigh Montagna pass, to goal.  The old warriors have stood up.


Collingwood respond with sharp ball movement out of the centre and goal through Will Hoskin-Elliot.


Come the second, we are noticing first gamer Ben Long, nephew of Michael Long of Essendon fame.  Every time he goes near the ball, something good happens. He shows great promise.


Josh Bruce scores the next Saints goal before he misses a second. Jack Lonie joins the party with another behind.  Both teams have kicked 6 behinds each.  Saints are sloppy and the ball is turned over and Fasolo misses too.  It’s a ‘missing’ party out there.


Jack Crisp settles the Pies down with a good goal and Billings answer is another behind. Collingwood are struggling to get it out of the Saints forward line, and all our hassling of their players leads to Jade Gresham stealing the ball and kicking one though. He’s sneaky and we love that about him. And Saints are ahead for the first time by a goal and we love that too.


Mav Weller seems low on confidence, making more errors after such a break out year in 2016.  Geary and Roberton continue to dominate.


Half time has us stretching our legs and replenishing our hungry selves.  We hope the boys downstairs are replenishing themselves too.


Ben Long misses before the ball pings up the opposition end and Jessie White kicks truly. We watch in awe as Gresham does a few manoeuvres and gets past the Pies players. There is clean passing – Billings to Bruce to Membrey who goals. Now we are moving. Riewoldt kicks a behind from a good mark. Jarryd Blair pulls one back for the Pies but you feel that the Saints are already in control. Blake Acres scrums one from a pack and goals.  Saints are 13 points ahead in what is desperate footy. They don’t assert dominance with misses to Dunstan and Membrey but at least we are attacking at every opportunity. Billings finally goals one just before the siren, settling both himself and the supporters down well.


Come final quarter, Nick misses after a beautiful, skilful mark. Fasolo misses. Riewoldt kicks out of bounds on the full. This last quarter is an arm wrestle, and St Kilda is quiet for most of it.  Towards the end of the quarter, Hoskin-Elliot kicks truly for the Pies before Membrey pulls one back from a terrific mark at the back of the pack. The last score of the day from a resurgent Collingwood is through Henry Schade.  It was too late to change the result but we Sainters were happy to hear the siren.


The Sainters among us are well pleased, bemused by the skill errors and our mess ups, but we won and we will take winning ugly every day of the week.


Post-game, I headed to the Comedy Festival.  This game put me in the perfect mood for it.



St Kilda           1.3       4.7       8.12     9.15            (69)

Collingwood   2.6       3.7       5.8       7.13            (55)


GOALS St Kilda:  Bruce 2, Membrey 2, Acres, Billings, Gresham, Montagna, Riewoldt.


Collingwood:Hoskin-Elliott 2, Fasolo, Schade, Blair, Crisp, White.


BEST    St Kilda: Ross, Riewoldt, Roberton, Geary, Bruce, Brown.


Collingwood: Adams, Grundy, Howe, Pendlebury


UMPIRES          Hay, Nicholls, McIerney  CROWD: 36, 650


OUR VOTES      Ross (St K) 3, Riewoldt (St K) 2, Roberton (St K) 1.







About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

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