Finals Week 1 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: Rising Saints beat more final experienced hot dogs


Saturday 3 October 2020
4:40 pm
The Gabba


Bulldogs’ performances in the previous rounds were better and more decent than the Saints, and the Doggies are more experienced in final footy in recent years, but I believed the Saints would win their first final footy in nine years. Because St Kilda have good records in final footy against the Bulldogs and we are rising. Also I am feeling that we are winning the flag this year, like the emotion Bulldogs supporters had in 2016.


SEN have discussed their play styles, Saints kicking versus Bulldogs handballing. Breakfast show co-host Garry Lyon tips the Bulldogs on Friday morning. And in general Bulldogs are favoured as winners.


Game day arrives. I am much more relaxed compared with the last home and away game against GWS, but excitement is built up hour by hour. My knees had not been well since Tuesday and went worse on Friday night, but I chose to run and kick footy in the morning with taping on. I have footy drills hard with efforts for our next game in November and passions of supporting the mighty Saints.


I tune in to Watch AFL App with two 500-ml bottles of Sapporo Beer. The do or die eliminate final starts.


Despite Ryder wins contested hit outs to English in the ruck and Saints deliver the footy to the forward line, Daniel and Wood play hard to stop us. Dogs change the direction and Bontempelli kicks to the dangerous zone in Bulldogs’ hot spot. Former Saint Bruce picks footy and runs into the goal post. He scores the first goal of the match.


Then Long bumps into Mcrae on the shoulder and is reported. On Sunday the tough Saints is offered a one match ban for a rough conduct.


Bulldogs continue to deliver footy to their forward line and hit the scoreboard. Smith has a good opportunity but his kick hits the post.


But Saints finally get an opportunity. Kent kicks long on the wing and Geary takes a mark inside 50 and plays on. Handpass is done to Membrey and he notches up and bags a goal.


Bulldogs play hard trying to hit the scoreboard but Saints defenders perform harder than the first minutes. Wilkie’s intercept marks, Carlisle’s turnover and Clark’s possessions are all good. And we are trying to push forward, but Dunkley picks footy inside 50 and hits the target. Norm Smith Medalist Johannisen takes a mark and his accurate set shot brings his side six points.


Saints never give up. After the good hanspasses in the back line, Hill picks footy and accelerates speed and hits the target. Membrey takes a mark and kicks to the hot spot. Young King takes a contested mark winning against three Bulldogs. The angle is easy, directly in front. His goal levels the score at 2.1 each.


Then Bulldogs gather the number on the centre field putting pressures on St Kilda followers’ handpassing. A turnover quickly delivers to the Dogs inside 50. Crozier and Paton contest and the Saint’s high tackle (shoulder) awards the Bulldog a free kick. A quick answer is made and the Bulldogs lead by a goal.


St Kilda dominate after the centre bounce despite being put pressures on and finally Membrey hits the target. Geary wins the contested mark against Daniel inside 50. Beveridge is on the bench and disappointed. The Saints skipper kicks after the siren but set shot goes to the right.


Bulldogs dominate the half forward at the first quarter and lead by five points. Also they lay more tackles and are awarded more free kicks.


At St Kilda’s inside 50, we are under the pressure and goal kicking is so hard. Billings’ sloppy handpass and Coffield’s inefficient kick reflect on the fact. And we take the safe options by changing directions at the beginning of the second quarter.


Meanwhile Carlisle has good hands taking intercept marks to stop Dogs. And then finally Membrey has an opportunity to finish up, but he only gets a minor score.


Then in a thrown in at our inside 50, no ruckman is nominated from either side and Lonie picks footy and scores a goal. His goal puts us in front for the first time.


Bulldogs snarl us and try to break the goal square. Howard’s tackle on Wallis is counted as a high one. The Bulldog forward is awarded a free kick and his set shot brings his side back in front.


Our great ruckman Ryder helps the back line putting pressures on Bulldogs forwards as well as does Clark. Hannebery is skilled in possessions and disposals. Also the skilled midfielder runs smoothly and knows when to dispose.


Membrey takes a mark in the forward line and is about to miss the great opportunity. But King is around the goal line and takes a mark. The young forward is in the right spot and shots an easy goal. We get back in front.


Then both sides are chasing the ball on the wing, but Saints overcome the pressures and hit the targets in handpasses and kicks. Lonie’s kick hits Ryder who is in the right spot. The veteran ruckman scores a goal.


Although Saints control footy by quick handpasses and good kicks and tackles, Wallies gets another opportunity to narrow the margin to two. He misses and the Saints go on the long break with a seven-point lead.


Under the warm weather in Brisbane with 28 degrees, both sides play intense footy. The footy is bounced perfectly after the main break and hit out by Ryder winning over English. Bontempelli is on the wing trying to win contests while Howard runs fast to stop Bulldogs.


Good handpasses and disposals are done in between Saints, and Billings, Ryder and Membrey have good ball uses. The tall forward takes a mark and scores a goal 30 metres out.


Dunkley quickly answers and intensity is still going. Saints play hard – Billings’ good tackle in forward 50 and Long’s good tap.


Smith and King getting a minor score each other, our skipper takes a mark and scores a goal. It is the first goal Geary kicks against the Bulldogs in his 14-year career. Lonie could have kicked his own but chooses a selfless play. Good on the small forward!


Ross is a hungry midfielder and lays a tackle on the Bulldogs skipper and is awarded a free kick. Ryder is hungry as well because he had never won a final footy at Essendon or Port Adelaide. King hits the target and Paddy wins a contested mark. The Bulldogs coach Bevo gets nervous in the coaches box. His reaction doesn’t write off his emotion. Ryder scores his second goal of the match.


Steele and Coffield putting pressures on the Bulldogs in the backline and Jones demonstrating his fast runs on the field, Saints dominate the third quarter. Coffield starts his great time in the defence. Butler had been quiet and starts his engine. After he misses an opportunity, he gets another one and scores the classic Butler goal – picks footy, runs closer to posts and shots.


English and Hunter score a behind one each and St Kilda lead by 24 points at the third quarter time.


I am more relaxed at the time and start thinking we will win with a big margin. But the storytelling top Dog (Beveridge) must have done something to his players with good encouragement. I never imagine how tough the last term will be…


Bulldogs send Bruce in the centre field contesting Ryder. I try to cool myself down.


Coffield plays hard in the backline stopping Bulldogs, Hunter is a hard nut as always and Carlisle has good hands taking intercept marks.


But Bontempelli and Liberatore hit hard being desperate to score goals (Bont behind and Libba nothing). Finally young Bulldogs forward Naughton takes a high contested mark and scores a goal.


Despite Bulldogs pushing hard to their forward line, Saints show teamwork – Hannebery handpasses to Butler, the former Tiger kicking and hitting Membrey who handpasses to Geary. Our skipper scores his second goal of the elimination final.


Then Bulldogs start snarling. One of the best Bulldogs, Hunter takes a mark and his set shot goes through the main goal posts. Billings and Dunkley get minor scores each afterward.


St Kilda are unable to stop notched Bulldogs who have been instructed, I reckon with Bevo’s philosophy after the third term. Four minutes after Hunter’s goal, Liberatore scores a goal. Time inside 50 at the last quarter as of when Libba kicked a goal is 19 percent of St Kilda and 81 percent of the Bulldogs.


Bulldogs keep pushing forward and the best forward Wallies is awarded a free kick but misses.


Their small and reliable defender Daniel is in the forward line and tackles by Wilkie. Matured defender’s tackle is called high tackle and many St Kilda supporters are unhappy with umpire’s call. Daniel’s set shot from a free kick is scoring a goal. Saints only lead by three points.


As Bulldogs are still able to change the tide, I feel more nervous (it starts when Libba scores a goal). Then Ryder is done with hamstring injury and off to the bench.


Coffield saves us and is awarded a free kick and Marshall shows stop hands in marking.


Saints keep the lead and the final siren sounds. St Kilda win by three points.


I avoid getting a heart attack and relieves come in my mind. It is a good win for the Saints. I enjoy listening to the club song played at the stadium and sung by players.


Sadly Paddy is confirmed with a hamstring injury and off to Victoria and also Carlisle leaves the hub because his wife Mel is giving a birth to their third child.


We might not have Long because he is reported on bumping to Mcrae at the first quarter. As of Tuesday, he is offered a one-match ban and the club is appealing. Hope the appeal is approved on Wednesday night so that he can play the semi final against Richmond on Friday night.


In reality it is hard to beat the remaining premier but we can do it. Go the mighty Saints!!


ST KILDA 2.2 5.4 9.6 10.7 (67)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.1 4.3 5.6 9.10 (64)


St Kilda: King 2, Ryder 2, Membrey 2, Geary 2, Lonie, Butler
Western Bulldogs: Daniel, Hunter, Liberatore, Crozier, Johannisen, Dunkley, Wallis, Bruce, Naughton


St Kilda: Geary, Hannebery, Ryder, Clark, Howard, Membrey, Carlisle
Western Bulldogs: Smith, Bontempelli, Williams, Crozier, Daniel





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About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. John Butler says

    Yoshi, I hope the beers tasted sweet. :)

    Saints deserved the win.

    Now for Friday night.

  2. Saintsmania says

    Saintsational win by St Kilda. Richmond are definitely beatable as Brisbane showed last Friday night.

    Yoshi, if Collingwood can beat West Coast last week against all the odds, this great St Kilda team can do likewise. No Ryder, no Carlisle, no Gresham, maybe no Long, no worries.

    This current St Kilda team has excellent depth on the field and off the field. From the new President Andrew Bassett down, the St Kilda team is absolutely determined to win St Kilda’s 2nd flag in 2020. It has been a great team effort both on and off the field. Andrew Bassett has put the Administration in the right position from Simon Lethlean, the Football Manager, who was instrumental in getting the brilliant leader Dan Hannebery to the club, as well as the big 5 in last year’s trade period in Dan Butler, Zak Jones, Paddy Ryder, Dougall Howard and Brad Hill. Matt Finnis is doing a great job as the CEO, as well as James Gallagher, as the List Manager.

    Apparently, Brendan Gale said a few years before Richmond’s great run of 2 premierships, that you need 3 factiors to succeed. They are stability, coaching and recruiting. St Kilda now have a stability with their Board and Administration, they have recruited very well with those 5 players from last year’s Trade Period and they have more top midfielders in their sights. St Kilda with their current finals success, has become a team that top players now want to go to.

    Of course, with the coaching, Brett Ratten has installed belief in the players that can achieve the ultimate prize, a 2nd flag, through hard work, perseverance and teamwork. Also, Brett Ratten is a great leader of men and Jarryd Roughead has been instrumental in St Kilda’s improved delvery into the foreard line with their ball movement. Brendan Lade and David Rath have been putting together successful winning game plans

    As far as the Western Bulldogs of 2016 comparison is concerned, Tim Membrey will continue to play the Jake Stringer role, Max King will play the Tom Boyd role and Jack Steele will play like Marcus Bontempelli. Max King also plays like Mason Cox and The King’s kicking is improving and The King will soon rule St Kilda’s forward line. That would be a crowning achievement.

    Only 3 more finals wins to achieve St Kilda’s 2nd flag. To quote successful past premiership coaches, twelve 16 minute quarters plus time on for St Kilda to make a name for themselves and win their 2nd flag! Don’t think St Kilda, do! If it bleeds you can kill it and St Kilda thinks that Richmond, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong and Collingwood can all bleed!

    Carn The Mighty Saints!

  3. A fine win by St Kilda despite almost coughing up the game in the last quarter, Yoshi.
    It’s a great reward for you and the many Saints fans who’ve patiently waited for their team to come good.
    It will be a big ask to beat Richmond without Paddy Ryder, Jake Carlisle and Ben Long, particularly given the Tigers have never bowed out of a finals series in “straight sets”.
    For non-aligned AFL supporters like me, I’d love to see St Kilda’s finals journey continue for a few more weeks.

  4. Saintsmania, love your adaptation of John Kennedy Sr’s famous 1975 Grand Final quote.
    Good luck to the red, white and blacks.

  5. G’day and thanks for nice comments, gents!

    JB – I just needed a company so picked Sapporo Beer. One more sleep to the semi final. I can’t wait!

    Saintsmania – You present positive status of our beloved club and I can’t agree with you more. Well said. Saints keep marching in. Ratts have never been defeated to Damien Hardwick. Saints are doing again and again.

    FitzroyPete – I am sad that Ben Long appeal was not approved but we have good back ups. We are rising and get much attention on SEN this week. I just hope and feel that Saints are going on the similar path of the Doggies in 2016.



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