Round 10 – St Kilda v Fremantle: Geez boys, make me nervous much?

Round 10: St Kilda v Fremantle

Etihad Stadium

Saturday 28th May 2016 4.35pm

Yvette Wroby

 

Geez boys, make me nervous much?

(And very proud once the heart regains composure).

 

In a freezing cold afternoon, the Saints began the game with 4 spectacular goals that led us to believe we had a good, solid afternoon of great St Kilda footy ahead of us.  It was Shane Savages 100th game, and the banner read, “With skill and pace of half back, 100 great games.” The other side was supporting a changed constitution to engage in reconciliation and recognition, a message about tolerance and acceptance and change. It was the Sir Douglas Nicholls Indigenous Round.  There was an Aunty welcoming us all to the land.  I had my American Almanac guests Debbie and Glenn Brownstein, sitting next to me and stalwart cousin Gary to my left.  All the indigenous players, Gresham for the Saints and 4 for Freo, tossed the coin. These were all good things, great things.  Moments which made me a proud Saints woman.

 

Newnes kicked the first from great work from Rooey, Weller and a pass, perfectly aimed, from Geary, all within a minute. Amitage kicks the next, and from good centre work, Hickey taps to Ross to kicks perfectly to Membrey who was held and we have a third in almost as many minutes.

 

Then the new kid, Paddy McCartin, the wonderful number 1 draft pick from 2014, against two defenders, jumps up, gets turned the full 360 degrees, doesn’t take his eyes of the ball as he falls on his back and manages to keep the ball in sight and in touch with his big, strong hands. We are amazed.  The commentators on the radio are amazed.

 

Dermott (on Fox later says), “Each week this kid does something that makes us go ‘ooooh’.”

 

He follows that up with a perfect kick and goals. Ooooh.

 

Saints are still pushing forward but Dunstan misses, Rooey runs from defence to forward and kicks for goal, and not surprisingly, still puffing, misses.

 

You can feel Fremantle begin to settle.  Something has changed.  They start getting possessions and making a contest, start to tackle, start cutting us off.

 

They are rewarded when Taberner goals. Fremantle begin winning from centre, while Ross misses everything with a wild kick.

 

When Steven gets a free and 50, he passes to Geary, who instead of kicking himself, passes to a running Murdock who scores from 55 out. Wonderful stuff.  Why has he been languishing in the reserves?

 

The other Weller, Lachie the younger brother from Fremantle, goals from great defensive work from their back line, and Freo keeps winning the contested ball.  The quarter ends after Walters gets another for Freo and the energy and direction of the game has changed.

 

Even though the Saints lead by 2.4 at quarter time, we are not settled.  We hear later that Ross Lyon gives his players a real spray at quarter time, and they are revved up.  Out they come and play way better for the next two quarters.

 

Pav goals from a free. Steven goals for the Saints from a free after a great tackle. The pressure has gone up and we begin to miss targets.  There is scrum after scrum and ball ups, Freo are defending better. Lachie Weller gets another, and even though Saints try attacking, Freo hold onto the ball and the next goal is to Langdon, and when Langdon gets the second so quickly, Saints go into the rooms only 1 point ahead.

 

We are not confident.  We let a good lead slip away. Afterwards, we hear that our coach Alan Richardson told the boys that usually when they review a game afterwards, they can only then take action the next week. On this day, they had a chance to change the results in the next two quarters. ` I love my coach.

 

Even though Freo get the first three after half time (through Neale, Sheridan and Taberner) putting their team ahead by three goals and the Freo cheer squad singing like a choir of a 1000 instead of the 100’s at the ground, Saints defence has stepped up.  We are winning more of the ball, I am noticing Greshams’ handy ball and body work around the ground, and McCartin marking up the field, both providing hope and inspiration for the future. Especially when McCartin manages another beautiful, true goal late in the third quarter.  The energy has changed again. We are upping the ante, we are coming.

 

Even with Paddy’s late goal, we are not feeling hopeful.  They are beating us in disposals, contested possessions, uncontested possessions, clearances, centre clearances, tackles and inside 50’s.  But we did slow down their goaling.

 

With 13 points the difference, Saints come back for the last quarter of attacking football. Membrey gets the first.  We are now winning it out of the centre. It is in our forward again and Riewoldt comes through with a magnificent soccer kick just his side of the goal line. We are cheering and up and about, especially when the replay is on the big screen and the goal is confirmed. How magnificent. The scores are even.

 

Desperate footy.  Bodies flying everywhere.  Freo manage a point before Membrey puts us ahead by 11. Every time Freo gets it, we are there in their face, and the defence get it back for a goal by Membrey. Our Weller decides to get in on the goal kicking action. Pow.  Bruce follows, and then another perfect transition from Steven, McCartin to Bruce and a goal.  Paddy is everywhere as are Steven and Armitage. Gresham playing brilliantly. We are heading to the 100’s.

 

Riewoldt gets in on the action with the next before this 8 goal quarter is sealed by our young, indigenous player Gresham, which felt like a perfect ending to what was a brilliant first 10 minutes and last 30 and a shaky two quarters in between.

 

We are pumped (after two quarters of being deflated).  The boys are pumped.  Photos and selfies are taken with the players without controversy. The boys sing the song again, for the first time since early 2014, we have won two on the trot.

 

Our happy group are once again grinning, heading off to eat, with the happy circumstances of Glenn having now a record of seeing 3 winning Saints games when he’s visited.  I am tempted to steal his passport and his freedom, but their dog is waiting at home and life just has to get back to normal.

 

In 14ish days, they have been to two winning games, one open training with photos from players, an Almanac lunch with Geoffrey Blainey (and meeting tons of Almanackers), Glenn was interviewed for our lunch-time amusement by John Harms, seen the St Kilda penguins, the Apostles, the Vic Market, the shrine to shopping Chadstone, eating many home cooked dinners full of chicken soup and lots of takeaway, taken photos and been entertained and amused.

 

At the end of this writing, they have flown via Sydney to Houston to Indiana and are snuggled in at home for the next time we Skype or share footy results. It has been a great few weeks for all, and we Sainters are still smiling in remembrance of both our nervous tension and the releasing excitement.  It would be good to have game victories sans the heart failure, thanks Saints boys. Just saying, for future reference.

 

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. gr8 review Yvette, I enjoyed reading some of Glenn’s stories too.

    I agree why has Murdoch been languishing in the reserves?

  2. Hi Yvette,

    I’m very happy to see our boys made the great change back to win. Nick Riewoldt is so good to change duties in the game between centre wing and forward.

    I didn’t know either coaches’ instructions to players. Richo’s great attitudes towards our boys must have bounced back to win the game. Now we have a wonderful coach. I’m happy not to be defeated by our old coach’s speech towards Docker boys.

    I appreciate Debbie and Gleen to bring us wins all the time on their visits. I wish I could be with you all in the game, and have to organise a trip to a St Kilda game in the near future.

    I hope Richo encourages our boys well tomorrow and we upset Crows even in the visitor unfriendly Adelaide Oval.

    Go Saints!!

    Yoshi

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