Round 10 – St. Kilda v Fremantle: A Game Of Two Halves; Or Really Bits And Pieces Of One Quarter, A Half And Another Quarter

By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday 28 May 4.35 PM

Etihad Stadium


This was one hell of a game with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie murder mystery. For the first time in living memory the Saints jumped out of the blocks and had three goals in the first few minutes of the game. It was as if the Dockers had decided to go on a sight seeing expedition to where Ross Lyon had lived when he had coached the Saints way back when. Paddy McCartin then took a freak mark falling to the ground and converted with the Saints four goals up.

Then things changed. Having discovered the high cost of real estate in Melbourne, the Dockers steadied and got back into the game. Their first goal was gift wrapped from a Saints turnover and, even though they were down by almost 40 in the possession count, the Dockers kicked three of the last four goals of the quarter to be only behind by 16 points at the first break.

The Dockers kicked the first goal of the second quarter, followed by a quick response from Jack Steven. From then on the Dockers controlled the game. They dominated the center bounce and their on ballers were first to the ball, launching attack after attack.  In the second and third quarters the Dockers won contested possessions 79 to 56, the clearances 27 to 12 and inside 50s 28 to 19.

The best thing that can be said about the Saints in this period was the quality of their defence. Despite the dominance by the Dockers the Saints didn’t allow the game to slip away. They out tackled the Dockers in these two middle quarters 51 to 39, and even though the Dockers put on six unanswered goals, none of them were from gift wrapped turnovers. Late in the third quarter the Dockers were more than three goals in front. Paddy McCartin pulled off his second miracle for the game when he managed to keep on his feet in a marking contest, turn around, grab a crumb and put it through from six inches out. The Saints were still in the game, if only just.

The last quarter witnessed another turn around. The Saints dominated everywhere. The team spread out and created room for delivery of the ball out of the back half. Everything worked. David Armitage, Jack Steven and Nick Riewoldt put in stunning last quarter efforts. Saint Nick, plus the three talls on the forward line, Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey and Paddy McCartin, all came alive. McCartin became a focal point going forward, with Riewoldt, Bruce and Membrey all kicking two goals. Riewoldt’s first of the quarter was from a high kick on the goal line learnt at the feet (in the air, to be sure) of Rudolf Nureyev. The last goal of the game went to Jade Gresham which topped off his best game for the Saints. In the last quarter the Saints had 15 inside 50s for a return of 8 goals 2 behinds; a pretty good return in anyone’s language.

This was Shane Savage’s 100th AFL game; even though the majority were played with the Hawks. He had more than a serviceable game with 22 possessions and has been a valuable addition to the Saints. Mention should also be made of Sean Dempster. He received a potentially devastating injury when he crashed into a pylon on the fence in the second quarter. After receiving treatment he came back on and helped muster the defence, taking seven marks for the game. He is a fearless player who should receive three Brownlow medals each week for his courage. But in a sense this is true for all players of all teams. Sean, then, should be awarded four votes!

The Saints are back in town. The Crows next week, away. Hope springs eternal!

Go Saints!!


St. Kilda:       5.4   6.8   7.9   15.11 (101)

Fremantle:   3.0   7.1   10.4   10.7 (67)



St. Kilda: Membrey 3, McCartin 2, Riewoldt 2, Bruce 2, Newnes, Armitage, Murdoch, Steven, Weller, Gresham.

Fremantle: Weller 2, Langdon 2, Taberner 2, Walters, Pavlich, Sheridan, Neale.



St. Kilda: Steven, Armitage, Riewoldt, Montagna, Roberton.

Fremantle: Neale, Crozier, Barlow, Blakely, Pearce.


Umpires: Donlon, Edwards, Stephens.


Crowd: 17,927.


Our Votes: Steven 3 (St. Kilda), Armitage 2 (St. Kilda), Riewoldt 1 (St. Kilda).

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