AFLM Round 8: Western Bulldogs v St Kilda: What Matters Most

Danielle, Luke and Nanna Yvette

Etihad Stadium

Saturday May 27th 1.45pm


‘Siren’s Call’ now available at


Saturday afternoon footy for the third week in a row. The first time forever.  This time Uncle Bob, Gary and I plus Danielle, Luke and friend Charlotte are on Level 3, Aisle 11 amongst the Moorabbin Wingers.  Here, we are surrounded by Saints. Lots of St Kilda supporters who are hoping for a miraculous game like the one in 2015 where we came back from behind to steal the game.  As we talk about that game and our neighbours wondered at how far we came back, I whipped out a copy of Siren’s Call and have them read about that terrific game.  I got a sale out of this very act.  A high point of the afternoon along with having Luke and Danielle join me at the footy.

The weekend footy started with wins to Geelong and Hawthorn and I was already suffering from Premiership envy.  Seeing the Cats and Hawks beat their opposition Thursday and Friday night and being able to stay up the top had me pondering the fate of St Kilda supporters. Words like yearning, desire, wishing, dreaming, hoping, craving, desperation, hunger, toughness, the phrases and behaviours of “never say die”, “I want” and “I need” and “I’ll take” were skipping through my mind.

I had met Uncle Bob and Gary in Caulfield Station as we’d parked near each other, and all was going OK until Uncle Bob swiped his credit card rather than his Miki.  The train was at the station and he urged us to get on, as he madly swiped.  The problem was, he’d swiped the correct card and the gate hadn’t opened.  Before we could get back off, the doors closed and we left Uncle Bob struggling at the station.  The young Saints supporters who’d cheered Gary and I getting on the train, then let out a collective “awww” of disappointment as Uncle Bob was left behind.  It was an omen of things to come.

We checked in with him via phone and all was OK once he got some help, and he traveled separately as we headed to Level 3 and staked out the seats.

When we were all together, among terrific people and with my extended family I found that this was a highlight of the game for me.  Talking to Luke, bugging him when the Saints were playing poorly, getting lots of kisses and cuddles. It’s what gave me joy and protection.

The game itself was another disappointment.  Like with Sydney, we were outplayed, out-muscled and out-scored.

In a scrappy low scoring first quarter, with the first goal to Jack Billings, second to Jake Stringer, third to Daniel McKenzie and fourth to Stringer, we pondered, momentarily, a close, exciting game. Especially when Tim Membrey scored the first of the second.  Stringer put an end to those fantasies as he kicked two straight, followed by Tory Dickson.

We were having one of those disheartening games where we handed the ball over, bombed it forward, were inefficient in our passing and kept going backwards. The HeraldSun recorded on Sunday that the Bulldogs kicked 52 of their 59 points in the 3rd and 4th quarter from St Kilda turnovers, while Saints were only able to get one goal from a Bulldogs turnover. There’s be groans in the crowd every time Saints turned backwards, some fans around us (or was it us) were yelling, ‘go forward’.  Have our boys lost their pizazz and push to go forward?  Were they not leading out and making opportunities?

But we were still in it at half time.  Not so much after that. Jade Gresham started the quarter with a good goal but Bailey Dale, Bob Murphy kicked two before Jack Newnes kicked our last for a while.

Matthew Suckling, champion footballer Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Stringer nailed the results down.

Luke had loved the first two quarters when the Saints were still in the game, and he watched intently.  He also watched the Auskick kids and pondered accepting the invitation to join in the next time his group at Dingley Football Club were invited.  He’d been too shy last time.

It was during the third quarter thumping that I got the most hugs and kisses and laughs.  He was starting to fade and they left at ¾ time.

This time Jason Johannisen kicked truly, and Maverick Weller and Paddy McCartin finally goaled. Doggies didn’t accept that minor comeback, and went on to fire through Liam Picken and Tom Boyd. It was a 40-point flogging in the end.  There had only been two Moorabbin Wing collective cheering moments in the whole game.

The Western Bulldogs showed why they were Premiers last year, and they knew how to finish the game strongly and keep us well muzzled. The only sad thing for them was a hamstring injury to Bob Murphy and an ankle injury to Lachie Hunter.

I thanked the footy gods for other good things, like the new Facebook group St Kilda Saints FC Strength Through Loyalty Group, with Trevor Tsui-Po posting great fan stories that speak to positivity and love of the Club.  He also wrote about the coaching and learning that our young players were getting. His posts resonated with me, and on top of that, I’ve been invited to contribute.

My women’s team St Kilda Sharks had a win in both VFLW and in their reserves teams so I got to enjoy some red, white and black glory. And I get to write out my thoughts for the Footy Almanac site and rest together with my St Kilda boys with a bye next weekend.  Perfect timing at least. And what matters most?  Love, for my family and friends and for my Club.  And I’ll take that any time.


Western Bulldogs:           2.2         5.6         10.9               13.12    (90)

St Kilda                               2.1         3.2           5.5               7.8           (50)


Goals: Western Bulldogs: Stringer 5, Dickson, Dale, Murphy, Suckling, Bontempelli, Johannisen, Picken, T Boyd.

St Kilda: Billings, McKenzie, Membrey, Gresham, Newnes, Weller, McCartin.

Best: Western Bulldogs: Stringer, Johannisen, Hunter, Dale, Macrae

St Kilda: Newnes, Carlisle, Longer, Stevens, Montagna and Ross

Umpires: Hay, Meredith, Findlay

Crowd: 34,685

Malarkey Points: Stringer (3), Johannisen(2), Hunter (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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