AFLW Round 3 – St Kilda v Melbourne: Saints early candidate as AFLW Friday night specialists in percentage boosting win against the Demons – come on, give me some slack it was the Saints first ever win

 

 

 

 

by Braham Dabscheck

St Kilda v Melbourne

7.10 pm Friday 21 February

RSEA Park, Moorabbin

 

 

The Saints AFLW team, in only their third game, pulled off an upset win against the Demons. With every game they have looked better. In the first two games their major weakness seemed to be in the forward line. In Friday night’s game the two best players for the Saints were the forwards Caitlin (the G Train) Greiser and Kate (the terrier) McCarthy, wearing the G Train’s old number 9 on her back. The most pleasing aspect of the game was that it was an all round performance by the team. Everyone did something useful, a tackle, a block, getting into the thick of things to break up a forward thrust by the Demons, an intercept mark and so on for a thumping win in a closely fought and entertaining game. Georgia (the Gun) Patrikios had a poor first half and was hardly sighted in the first quarter. She turned things around in the second half with an excellent last quarter. She has a good football brain. Tilly (the tattooed pocket rocket hyphenated back pocket – I know the AFLW doesn’t have back pockets but I need to use a position from the boy’s game for the alliteration to work) Lucas-Rodd is also blessed with football smarts; a very intelligent player.

 

Hats off also to coach Peta Searle, the only female coach in this female league – come on other teams – for her tactics. In the previous two games the Saints tall girls, Rhiannon Watt and Kate Shlerlaw, who both work well in the ruck, tend to be clumsy in general play. Coach Searle decided to put them behind the play or rest them on the bench and use smaller, quicker players in general play. Rhiannon Watt, in particular, had an excellent game playing as a virtual goal keeper, with an important touch on the line in the first quarter saving a certain goal – looking back it probably cost the Demons victory.

 

For the first three quarters the Demons dominated territory with the game being played in their forward half. At three-quarter time they led the inside 50 count 28 to 11. But they had trouble scoring. The Demons Karen Paxman, who must be the most skilled player in the league at dodging and/or breaking away from a tackle dominated possessions. The problem for the Demons, however, is that she was not in the game once she had passed off the ball. The Demons used their other star player, Daisy Pearce, a kick behind the game. Given that the game was mainly in their forward half she was essentially wasted. The Demons, with hindsight, should have gambled and pushed her forward into the thick of play to add poise and class to their forward line.

 

Despite the Demons field dominance they experienced problems scoring. The Saints scored a goal with their first foray into the forward 50. Caitlin Greiser and Kate McCarthy combined outside the 50 for Greiser to kick a long ball on the 50 which headed for the boundary line in the forward pocket, where from no where, McCarthy grabbed it kicked it across her body for Greiser to mark in the goal square and kick a goal. The Demons came back with a late goal kicked from about the 50 metre line following a mark. It was a portent of things to come in what was the highlight of the game in the last quarter. The Saints down by 4 points at the first break.

 

The next two quarters were highly contested. The Demons lost two players in the second quarter through injury – a knee and a concussion – which reduced their rotations. The only goal scored, in the second quarter, resulted from fine play again by Caitlin Greiser. The ball was kicked to the Saints half-forward flank on the grandstand side. Greiser seemed to be behind where the ball was about to fall; she managed to get in the way, brought the ball to the ground, gathered it, pivoted onto her right foot and kicked the ball over the top of Demon defenders for Darcy Guttridge to gather the ball and stroll into the goal square for an easy goal. At the final break the Saints were down by 2 points.

 

Early in the last quarter Greiser gathered the ball on the 50, launched a long bomb which grazed one of the big sticks for a point. The Saints down by a point. The rest of the quarter was a struggle, with both teams seeking ascendancy. The key moment occurred half way through the quarter. The ball was kicked out of the Saints back half for Kate (the terrier) McCarthy to take a diving mark close to the ground on the outer wing. She picked herself up, ran on, baulked the player on the mark and kicked the ball forward. Caitlin (the G Train) Greiser stuck out her left hand at 90 degrees to her hip and the ball stuck. She was 50 metres out on the boundary line. Remember the Demons goal in the first quarter. She was slightly further out. The G Train launched a bomb and it sailed through for a six-pointer. The crowd went mad. The rest of the game was theatre with the Saints running out victors by 5 points.

 

The team was over the moon when the final siren rang. They gave a splendid rendition of ‘When the Saints come marching in’. As former Saint champion and current commentator Leigh Montana said, ‘they do it much better than the boys’. This is the first time that the Saints have won a game for points (the boys looked more than good the night before in the pre-season outing against the Hawks) when the Saints beat Fitzroy in Round 20 in August 1992 (14.18.102 to 10.24.84). It is also worth noting that the Saints boys won their first game also against the Demons in the first round of 1900, their 49th game! on a protest!!! (10.8.68 to 9.13.67 – a point had been awarded to the Demons in the third quarter after the siren had blown). The AFLW team have won their first game at the third attempt.

 

Watch out Dockers, you are next.

 

Go Saints.

 

St. Kilda       1.0   2.0   2.0   3.1 (19)

Melbourne   1.4   1.5   1.8   1.8 (14)

 

Goals

St. Kilda: Greiser 2, Guttridge.

Melbourne: Scott.

 

Best

St Kilda: Greiser, McCarthy, Lucas-Rodd, Dillon, Vesley.

Melbourne: Paxman, O’Dea, Zanker, Gay, Pearce.

 

Crowd: 4,012.

 

Our Votes: Greiser 3 (St. Kilda), Paxman 2 (Melbourne), McCarthy 1 (St. Kilda).

 

 

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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Comments

  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Good win for the Sainters! Sounds as though the team is beginning to find their feet, and the coach willing to make and try moves which have had positive results.

  2. Hi Braham,

    Thanks for your match review.

    It was a tough game and girls scored when they had opportunities. Two greats Gs (Greiser and Gutteridge) did well as well as McCarthy in the forward line. Greiser’s last goal was so incredible!

    Without back line’s hardworking, we would not win the game. They tackled and took intercept marks well.

    I’m happy our girls are cached by Searle. Proudly we have a only one female coach.

    Thanks for your info of our history too.

    Girls are rising and boys are back on rising.

    Together we rise.

    Go the mighty Saints!

    Yoshi

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Great summation of the game and the stars of the show. Was so good being there. Soooo good. We would have the Dockers wondering…

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