Round 10 – St. Kilda v Carlton: The Saints get back on track, but boy was it a struggle


3.20 Sunday, 26 May


Marvel Stadium


There are no easy games in modern footy. Despite whatever the scoreboard shows at the final siren, games are hard physical affairs. This was no better illustrated with the Saints prevailing over the Blues in a low scoring affair. The Saints were coming off a four game losing streak. They had only really been humiliated by the Giants, conceding eight goals in the first quarter and too many in the last. Against the Crows, Eagles and Pies they had been in the game, only being blown away in one quarter of poor footy. Despite maintaining pressure and being competitive they continue to have the yips in front of goal.


The Blues for their part have only won once and were destroyed by the Giants the week before. They were determined to make a statement. They dominated the early part of the first quarter. At various times there was a degree of niggle. This was especially so in the third quarter when Ben Long crashed into Blues big man Levi Casboult. Ben was reported and an all-out brawl was thwarted by an umpire who called play on. There was another incident late in the quarter where Matt Parker tackled Kade Simpson on the boundary line. The umps, who had a good game, managed to keep things under control.


Both sets of forwards struggled – well, it was a low scoring game. The difference in the end was that the Saints forwards made contributions here and there (Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey and Matt Parker each kicked two goals) while the Blues lacked a key forward to take on the game. The Saints again wasted opportunities in front of goal, especially from set shots. This included one out of bounds on the full, one that didn’t make the distance, another three points and a poster on the run. Five or six goals had gone begging.


The key moment in the game occurred just before half time. The Saints had dominated most of the second quarter but found it difficult to score. The Blues kicked a late goal to be in front with half time approaching. The Blues had the ball near their defensive 50 with only seconds of the half to play. A short pass was picked off by Daniel McKenzie who kicked it to Josh Bruce just inside the forward 50. He kicked truly after the siren. The Saints went into the main break with a three point lead and that wonderful elixir called momentum. They capitalised on this in the first half of the third quarter with three goals. This would prove to be enough to withstand the eventual fightback by the Blues


The best feature of the game for the Saints was the form of the midfield. Rowan Marshall performed well in the ruck with Jack Steele and Jade Gresham picking up many possessions. Luke Dunstan was good in the first half when the game was in the balance, winning the midfield battles. The backs held firm during periods when the Blues were on top. Two of the Blues’ three goals in the second half were from free kicks. Jonathan Marsh has slotted well into the back line, and Josh Battle improves with every game.


This was the Sir Doug Nicholls Round paying tribute to Indigenous Australians, especially their contribution to footy. Four of the Saints are indigenous: Jade Gresham, Ben Long, Matt Parker and Robbie Young. This is the largest number of Indigenous players who have played for the Saints at one time. Representatives from both teams exchanged gifts before the game. All of the teams wore playing strips which included an Indigenous theme. The Saints’ jumper was designed by Emily Long, Ben Long’s sister, and club graphic designer Megan Mitchell. The design represents the history of the Long family and the totems of their people. All of the playing strips of teams in the games I watched made a pleasant feast for the eyes from those traditionally worn. I thought that the Saints strip was outstanding, especially the long sleeved version worn by Ben Long after a certain incident in the third quarter which resulted in the disintegration of his short sleeved version.


There was news before the game of how Paddy McCartin is struggling following numerous concussions he has experienced.  In addition, Jack Steven is unable to play because of depression. I hope that both Paddy and Jack get well soon, even if this means that they never play again, and have long, happy and productive lives.


St. Kilda:   2.2   5.7   8.10   9.14 (68)

Carlton:     3.4   5.4   6.6     8.7   (55)



St. Kilda: Bruce 2, Membrey 2, Parker 2, Dunstan, Phillips, Newnes.

Carlton: C. Curnow 2, Gibbons 2, McKay, Newman, Cunningham, Kruzer.



St. Kilda: Steele, Gresham, Dunstan, Marshall, Battle.

Carlton: Cripps, Newman, E. Curnow, Walsh, Kruzer.

Umpires: Deboy, Fleer, Fisher.

Crowd: 35,058



Our Votes (Malarkey Medal), Steele 3 (St. Kilda), Gresham 2 (St. Kilda), Dunstan 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.







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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  1. Michael Viljoen says

    I stopped reading after you said the umps had a good game. St Kilda wrestled control of the game in the second quarter with the distinct help of the umpires. The free kick count of the second quarter was something like 12 free kicks to 2. (I’m not totally sure of the quarter by quarter stats, but at half time it was 20 free kicks to 7. The Carlton fans booing the umps off the field at half-time was not for nothing.

    The umpires must have looked at the stats at half time, felt a bit embarrassed, and decided to open their other eye. It was a poor game all round: Carlton, with their many skill errors; St Kilda was poor in front of goal; but the umpires cannot claim to have had a good game.

  2. John Butler says

    Braham, they should have renamed this one the Anxiety Cup. Fear of losing appeared the dominant sentiment throughout.

    Membrey impressed with his strong hands. He’s usually caused us problems.

    Saints did enough to get across the line.

    Not really sure what I make of the Blues at present.


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