Round 1 – Sydney v St Kilda: No longer a boring prospect

by Josh Barnstable

Rewind to 2007, 2008 or 2009, and I wouldn’t have watched this match. I would have watched the opening quarter maybe, and then stop watching it. But, with the year the Saints had in 2009 and the young talent the Swans offer, this match is suddenly one I rate very highly. After a day of playing my first match of the year for the Waaia Bombers, I settle down rather gingerly and get my first dose of Before the Game for 2010.

The blockbuster began and Adam Goodes got the Swans off to the best start possible, slotting a good goal from a long way out to make things 9-0. Ryan O’Keefe marked and kicked another long goal, giving Sydney a 15 point advantage before St Kilda sprung into action, Justin Koschitzke kicking a big goal, followed by Jason Gram kicking a running goal. Stephen Milne got on the end of a sizzling pass from new recruit Brett Peake to goal, Nick Riewoldt opened up his 2010 goal tally and Nick Dal Santo received a handball from a contest in the goalsquare to kick the open goal, giving the Saints a 15 point lead. A late goal to Nick Malceski saw the lead cut to nine points at quarter time, 3.3 to 5.0.

The second quarter began and Brett Kirk snapped a terrific goal before Riewoldt and Koschitzke both goaled. The first behind since the opening minutes of the quarter was kicked through Sydney, but Goodes quickly found the range again with a magnificent goal out of mid air from 20m out, cutting the margin to nine points. Adam Schneider kicked St Kilda’s eighth without a miss, but Goodes kicked a big goal. Peake gathered, danced around an opponent and snapped a great goal before Goodes provided the highlight of the match. With the ball tumbling towards the boundary line, Goodes showed his soccer skills with a deft flick which went straight into the uncontested arms of Daniel Bradshaw, who goaled. At the main break, the Saints led by seven points, 9.0 to 7.5.

The third quarter began and Riewoldt snapped a crucial goal, before the Swans fired with goals through Kieren Jack and Jesse White to slash the margin to three points. St Kilda kicked away again with Jarryn Geary kicking a goal, Andrew McQualter kicking a quick goal out of a pack and Gram putting through his second after a free kick on the siren. The Saints leading by a handy 20 points at the last break, 13.4 to 9.8.

The last term started and I predicted the Swans to run over the top of the dire Saints. Jarrad McVeigh capped off a great game by slotting a checkside goal with the help of the bash and crash style of Goodes, before Jarred Moore gathered, evaded around an opponent and put through a nice goal from just inside 50. The margin was eight points and Sydney was coming. Marty Mattner ventured forward and had an immediate impact, marking from a Goodes kick to put through the goal which made the margin two points in favour of St Kilda. The Saints flicked a switch though, with Riewoldt and Brendon Goddard both goaling from free kicks, sending heartbreak through the Swans camp. Mattner gave brief hope with another goal, but the result had been decided with the signal of the final siren. St Kilda winning, 15.6.96 to 13.10.88.

This game signals a new era for both sides. If we didn’t already know that the Saints are in the best position for a premiership than they’ll ever be, we know the Swans will be back around the top eight this season and pushing for the top four in the next couple of years. The excitement of Lewis Jetta was amazing, even though he only provided a couple of highlights. Bradshaw looks like a valuable recruit, freeing up White and Goodes, and when Patrick Veszpremi and Gary Rohan come into the side, the forward line will be even more dangerous. Tadhg Kennelly didn’t miss a beat, slotting straight into the backline, although a sore back and a broken nose may restrict him, and his mate Malceski was back to his best. But if the man wearing number 37 for Sydney keeps it up, a third Brownlow Medal will be coming his way.

Sydney 3.3—7.5—9.8—13.10.88

St Kilda 5.0—9.0—13.4—15.6.96


Sydney-Goodes 3, Mattner 2, White, Jack, Kirk, O’Keefe, Moore, Malceski, Bradshaw, McVeigh

St Kilda-Riewoldt 4, Koschitzke 2, Gram 2, Peake, Dal Santo, Goddard, Milne, Geary, McQualter, Schneider


Sydney-Goodes, McVeigh, O’Keefe, Kennelly, Malceski

St Kilda-Riewoldt, Gilbert, Gram, Montagna, Geary


31,330 at ANZ Stadium


3: Adam Goodes (S)

2: Nick Riewoldt (ST)

1: Sam Gilbert (ST)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

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