AFLW Round 4 – St. Kilda v Geelong: Saints purrfect eyesight sees them prevail over Cats in the dark at Moorabbin







St. Kilda v Geelong

7.10pm Friday February 19

RSEA Park, Moorabbin



All games have their own strange logic. The Cats dominated play and field position for large portions of the game but were unable to convert in front of goal. Some of their kicking to position was exemplary; but it fell apart in front of goal. The solution to this problem would seem to be to move long and accurate kicking backs up forward, especially early in the game. The Saints held on in the first half in what was little more than an arm wrestle.



The first half only produced two goals. The first was a kick over the top where Caitlin Greiser pounced on the ball and ran forward to kick on easy goal. The second was to the Cats from two errors by the Saints. With the play in the back half near the boundary line the ball was kicked forward and marked by a Saint with the ball out of bounce on the full. The player put the ball on the ground and ran into the back line, a 50-metre penalty and a goal to the Cats. In the first quarter Kate McCarthy was badly shaken in a tackle and missed the rest of the first half in passing a concussion test.



At the major break the Saints were up by a single point. The major lights decided to it was time to reduce the Saints’ power bills. The game was played with ‘training’ lights in imperfect light; lets add a bit of hyperbole and call it semi darkness. And with this flick of a switch the game changed. As the second half started Caitlin Greiser came off the field with an injured finger. Kate McCarthy returned and decided to make up for her time on the bench chatting with doctors.



Kate Shierlaw had a purple patch where she turned the game. The ball was kicked forward near the boundary line on the outer half forward flank. She chased after the ball at full speed, the ball obligingly bounced up into her arms and she continued her forward momentum in a rightward direction, pivoted and then banged it through from 25 to 30 metres with a celebration to match. She almost kicked a second one off the ground a few seconds later, but it skewed wide. She also gathered a ball from a tap by Isabelle Shannon and hand passed it to Shannon as she ran forward for her first AFLW goal. Greiser who returned to the ground kicked one after the final siren following a mark.



The third quarter was notable for one of those moments that makes footy so fascinating. It involved the Cats’ Stephanie Williams. She gathered the ball outside the Cats forward 50 and took off like a rocket trying to get to the moon yesterday. Boom, she was gone. She bounced the ball a couple of times and quickly found herself well inside the forward 50, and while she is a Cat, I was hoping she would kick a memorable goal, but her momentum was such she couldn’t stop and crashed into the waiting arms of Tahlia Meyer, who held on for dear life as if she was greeting a long lost relative, and was rewarded with a free kick. I can’t remember when I have seen a more exciting ‘failure’. Keep an eye out for Stephanie Williams; once she gets herself into the rhythm of games she will be a force to reckon with.



The final quarter belonged to Tyanna Smith, who had a best on ground performance. She set up all of the Saints three goals in this quarter. Two were outstanding. The first was her one handed pick up in the middle of the ground running in a semi circle with a perfect pass to Jacqui Vogt. The second involved a clever inside handpass from Georgia Patrikios with Smith bouncing the ball a couple of times, kicking it to Caitlin Greiser, with a spoil being sharked by Kate McCarthy who snapped it through on the right. Patrikios and Smith have the makings of a dynamic duo.



This was a much better all round performance by the Saints. Rhiannon Watt had a dominant game in the ruck as did Rosie Dillon, especially in the first half when the game was up for grabs. Tilly Lucas-Rodd was pushed further forward and used her smarts to set up and control play. It was easily her best game for the season; but the same could be said for other players as well. Peta Searle found a way to separate her two key talls – Shierlaw and Greiser –  who both played major parts in the victory. The G-Train kicked three, she could have had five if she had kicked straight. Probably, the only downside with the game was that there wasn’t a passage of play where first gamer Rebecca OTT, kicked it to Jacqui VOGT who passed it to Rhiannon WATT when the Saints were running HOT. One can only hope.



Who knows what is happening next week. Hopefully it will be at Moorabbin and the lights will go out for the opposition again!


Go Saints!



ST KILDA   1.1   1.3   4.9   7.9 (51)

GEELONG   0.2   1.2   1.2   3.4 (22)



St Kilda: Greiser 3, Shierlaw, Shannon, Vogt, McCarthy

Geelong: Cranston, Rankin, McWilliams



St Kilda: Smith, Watt, Lucas-Rodd, Dillon, Patrikios

Geelong: Webster, Purcell, Amy McDonald, Meg McDonald, Van de Heuvel


Crowd: 1,454 and several electricians.

Our Votes: Smith 3 (St. Kilda), Watt 2 (St. Kilda), Lucas-Rodd 1 (St. Kilda).




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