Round 11 – St Kilda v Port Adelaide: More than a losing game



St Kilda versus Port Adelaide
Sunday 2 June 2019
12:20 pm
Adelaide Arena, Jiangwan Stadium, Shanghai


We, AFL Asia Lions tour group, travelled to the stadium by Shanghai Metro from our hotel.


I hadn’t had knowledge of the city’s population of 26 million people until I listened to the Footyology podcast hosted by Rohan Connolly and Mark Fine on Friday morning. We spend an hour to get to the game.


Getting through the West Gate of the Jiangwan Stadium, I saw Hong Kong Dragons players who let me play for them in the previous day. Shaking hands and hugs exchanged.


Two St Kilda supporting Dragon players were on Saturday’s Masters Division – Sophie ‘Sox’ and Jacinta. We all hoped our mighty Saints won the Shanghai clash.


We had reserved seats at the S3 section while Dragons sat in different area. I sat next to AFL Japan’s best midfielder, Michito Sakaki.


None of AFL Japan tourists other than me was a Sainter. Several St Kilda supporters sat behind us and I greeted them with “Go Saints!”


Port Adelaide gained their power once the game had started. Good ball uses led to an opportunity to score a goal. Sinclair’s attempt taking a mark and turning over was not succeeded.


Howard kicked the game’s first goal within two minutes.


I tried to calm myself down. It was just the beginning of the game.


But they dominated footy.


Then Bruce’s soccer kick was picked by Newnes and he kicked high for our first goal. Now it was 1.1 each on the scoreboard.


It was answered by the opponent, but my favourite Saint Billings took a mark. His set shot was directly in front and brought us six points. I showed an excitement when Jack has done!


Later in the first quarter, Gresham was in the forward pocket and kicked towards Parker. He took a mark by the boundary line.


His set shot was made in the similar angle to mine in the previous day at Shanghai Cup. The talented matured aged professional player scored a goal with no worries. His bowing to the spectators was not what I missed at the stadium (only I have noticed on the club’s Facebook later on).


St Kilda trailed by nine points at the first break.


Our defence line was unable to put much pressures on the Port forwards. Boak and R.Gray kicked first two goals at second quarter.


Then Kent’s long kick was pushed towards our forward line. Membrey picked the bounced footy and ran back and at last kicked a goal.


I yelled “Good on you Skunk!”


Meanwhile I was switching seats between the original one and nearby fellow Sainters. Even they asked me if I was Yoshi or not by showing the Facebook profile. I answered yes and they told me that someone in the Saints in Shanghai 2019 group asked how I went at the Shanghai Cup.


Unfortunately his kick didn’t change the tide. Port had good ball uses with handpasses and kicks. Our back line couldn’t stop them.


When Gresham missed an opportunity to kick a goal at second quarter, Port Adelaide cheer squad booed.


I was really annoyed and pissed off so much and huge rivalry to them was escalated. Port Adelaide had already been my least club and my negative emotion towards them is bigger now!


At half time, I ran towards the West Gate to see a St Kilda club staff member who brought me gifts from the club. As becoming famous on the club’s social media platform, the club offered something to me and we contacted each other.


I appreciate St Kilda Football Club for being generous and am proud of supporting the mighty Saints.


Watching the last two quarters was too painful. Just saw the opponent scoring more goals and us having less skills to play.


The loss by 70 points was disappointing, especially losing to the most rival club.


I left the stand and greeted fellow Sainters and walked towards the East Gate to reunite AFL Asia Lions for our curtain close game.


Rick Olarenshaw has asked me if I wanted to play, but Matt told me that the game was important for other players, so I was given a club mascot by Matt.


We ran to the footy field and I followed Rick and Matt towards the boundary line.


Then I saw Nick Riewoldt and said “Hi Nick!”


He greeted me and we started chatting. Saint Nick asked me if I was playing or not.


Matt joined us and photos of three of us were taken.


Lions played well and kicked four goals at the first half with good ball uses. We made a quiet half for the opponent, AFL Asia Dragons.


At second half, the Lions slowed down with a single goal and Dragons kicked two, but the big lead at first half kept us win.


I’m happy to see the Lions to win.


We went back to the hotel by taxi and six of us headed to the Camel Sports Bar.


Sadly more Port Adelaide supporters were there for their celebration.


But I saw Wendy and Ree (St Kilda supporting friends) and introduced them to Matt. We were all disappointed but support the Saints with passions and have positive thoughts.


They suggest me to come to Australia. I love the idea but told them that I had footy trips for playing so I couldn’t afford. However I told them that I loved Melbourne.


Witnessing the loss for the second time was not good, but playing footy at Shanghai Cup with good players, making new friends and meeting up with friends have more values.


Then travelling to Shanghai was more than seeing a losing game.


I hope the Saints gain four premiership points outside Australia next year.



ST KILDA 3.4 5.8 7.10 9.15 (69)
PORT ADELAIDE 5.1 12.3 18.3 22.7 (139)


St Kilda: Gresham 3, Newnes, Billings, Parker, Membrey, Long, Marshall,
Port Adelaide: R.Gray 3, Bonner 3, Ryder 2, Boak 2, Farrell 2, Howard 2, Butters 2, Rozee, Westhoff, S.Gray, Duursma, Lycett, Motlop


St Kilda: Marshall, Ross, Newnes
Port Adelaide: Boak, R.Gray, Howard, Lycett, Jonas, Amon, Houston


3. R.Gray (PA); 2. Marshall (STK); 1. Howard (PA)


Umpires: Williamson, Findlay, Gianfagna

Official crowd: 9412

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.

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