Round 11 – West Coast Eagles v St Kilda: Red, White and Black in Four Parts


Saturday June 2nd, 6.10 pm

Optus Stadium


Red White and Black Part 1: Girls playing the game.




My daughter, 23, has a friend Anneliese who has taken up playing footy with Jewish sports club Ajax.  Originally based in St Kilda, the Club now plays out of Albert Park at the Gary Smorgon Oval. The chaps have Mark ‘Chocco’ Williams as their head coach which is a pretty good ‘get’.


I have seen Anneliese grow from a young girl to one hell of an adult. She’s a Saints supporter to boot, so she gets a little bit of extra love from me. At the beginning of the season, their first, the team was struggling to find a coach.  Just before the season began, they had their ducks in a row with David Slonim head coach and Simon Jedway his assistant. Parents are the team managers and do all the extra stuff around the ground.


As promised, I went out on the sunny but cold Saturday morning and got there as the girls were warming up. Anneliese plays in the back line, number 20 on her beautiful red, white and black guernsey. I took photos of them coming out of the rooms.  The blokes played on the main oval, and the gals on the one next door.


Her grandfather had a folding chair seat near the goals. Her father was time keeper, and mother, chief organiser of the group. A true family affair.  Two mothers sat next to me on the only bench with a ray of sunshine, telling me about the skills of their daughters.  It was a cold, crisp 11.40 start to the game, and the ‘Jackas’ were on fire.


Their attack and their defence were superior to the Hampton Rovers, who were yet to have a win in this season.


The girls were surprisingly good for newbies. And they were having a ball. The end score was 27-22, so it was a low scoring win for AJAX.



I left before half time, the chill to my bones not helping in the recovery from lurgies. This autumn/winter has seen me with constant complaints and sitting outdoors at the footy was not helping. I knew I had a day of warmth inside my house to come, and a footy game to watch on Foxtel, at home, in the evening.


With a two-week bye for my Southern Saints, my women’s footy appetite was sated with Annelise and her team mates.


As Paul Kelly wrote, ‘From little things….’


(I asked Anneliese about her post game state: she texted “usually not bad, some weeks have to ice certain areas and a bit sore the next day. But mostly energised. And I like watching the boys game afterwards.)

Post scripts: Anneliese felt her foot was sore during the second quarter but as there was no bench, she played on. It was only later that she went to the Doctors, had an xray is is out for several weeks with a clean break. ‘Aint footy grand!

Anneliese with moonboot to come.

Red, white and black Part 2: The Game in the West


At 8.10pm Melbourne time, I was sitting in my comfy chair, watching the West Coast Eagles tower over a smaller Saints side. I am strangely calm. I am not confident of a win, but I am confident that the St Kilda footballers will show something tonight. I am not sure what I base this on, other than the slow development of new players and a team which seems consistent now.  New young men are taking the place of injured and missing players.  They are finding their feet. It is different and engaging.


And I get to see West Coast play, and they are flying this year.


The game starts fast, with Nic Naitanui, Dom Sheed (from a Jack Lonie 50 metre free) and Josh Kennedy all showing why they are one of the two Premiership favourite teams.  Saints had not one tall defender but pushed forward from the next bounce. Paddy McCartin, ever improving, has a mark ripped from his fingers but is given a free moments later when Willie Rioli runs through a mark and he kicks straight.


We were on the board. I liked how we are playing before Nic Naitanui again goals, followed by Jamie Cripps. WCE have kicked 5 in a quarter.  My two youngest come past and I get a pile on cuddle from them both, which was a pretty good distraction at this point. Tim Membrey kicks one straight just on quarter time and I am liking the Saints running game.


I am warm. I am comfortable. I am being entertained. I got attention from my adult children before they disappeared and continued their night. And we were behind, but still in this game.


Jake Waterman starts the quarter with a goal, and I notice how accurate both teams have been. Only one rushed behind to the Saints. Tim Membrey has found his confidence and skill and gets another, before there Rioli and Kennedy score truly again. They even get their first behind. Twenty minutes in, Jack Sinclair remembers the big sticks before Mav Weller misses and we get another rushed. The game rhythm is interesting. WCE get ahead, and we claw a little back. Mark LeCras and Jamie Cripps both goal before we again end the quarter with a goal to Jack Newnes. WCE are still double the Saints score, but WCE are not running away as expected.  This is no flogging. Thankfully.


Third quarter is much the same. Saints start the goal fest with Membrey, LeCras, Kennedy (misses one but gets the next through) and Rioli a behind. From my chair, I feel a little confidence. Especially when Jack Lonie gets one for the Saints. Kennedy, bless his talented soul, kicks three straight. They are 8 goals ahead at the last break.


Expectations weren’t high at the beginning of the last. The Saints did enough to lift all our spirits; Maverick Weller, goal. Andrew Gaff, answered. Tim Membrey gets his fourth, then fifth. Jade Gresham, Jack Newnes and Tim Membrey before Gresham gets the last and we lose by a respectable 13 points.


I could hear the Western Saints supporters cheering throughout the last quarter.  I Tweeted, “Very proud of the boys effort tonight @stkildafc. And @westernsaints we could hear you all the way over in Melbourne. Loved the fighting spirit and team work.”  Western Saints INC replied, ‘I can confirm I will be communicating by txt for the next couple of days…no voice left.’ Other Sainters were equally impressed by the game.  There was love and pride around the team performance. It was a good week, with good Saints conversations to be had.


Red, white and black Part 3: The Noise of Affirmation


The only dark side from this game was the free kick count, and Alan Richardson has talked about his frustration with the free kick count when we play the WCE.  Saints lost the free kick count 25-13 in this game, and over the last 4 encounters in Perth, the free kick count was WCE 95- St Kilda 39. This discussion bubbled all day Monday on SEN1116.


Terry Wallace talked about it in Plows Monday Madness (Afternoons with KB and Doc) and the ‘Noise of Affirmation’ that comes from a crowd like WCE.


Alan Richardson, St Kilda’s coach, said several years ago about how WCE games play out: ‘I call it the noise of affirmation. Particularly with issues like holding the ball.  You go in there, did he duck, did he have prior opportunity, did he dispose of the ball incorrectly, the umpire has to weigh all this up. And then there’s this incredible noise, that potentially gives the umpire some form of affirmation or if you’re the opposition, there’s no noise.”


Terry responds with, ‘There is something spooky that happens there.  Like a vortex, or a third dimension, to do with the Bermuda Triangle, but every time the Saints and the umpires touch down at the Perth airport to take on the Eagles, something very very weird, happens. So I looked with a lot of interest last Saturday night when they both touched down together again, and I watched (the umpires named) the three field umpires, to see if they would fall into the same trance or curse that others who have come before them have done.  I watched and guess what, it happened again. In 2015, WCE 23 St Kilda 6, 2016 WCE 24 v St Kilda 13, 2017 WCE 23 v St Kilda 8, and with those three umpires, the same thing keeps occurring.  WCE 25, and St Kilda 12…..56 more free kicks in 4 games…St Kilda fans, I feel your pain.’


I think Saints fans need to work on some noise of affirmation of their own for our home games.  Stat’s show that this doesn’t happen anywhere else to the degree it happens in the west for the WCE (and not Fremantle). But we can try.


Red, white and black Part 4 : Kate Spade


Today I heard on the news that American handbag designer Kate Spade, was found dead in her apartment, suspected suicide at the age of 55. When I travelled in the States for 6 months in 2013, I came across her bags and bought a carry bag and a purse. They were in beautiful red, white and black designs.  I have often wished I had bought more, but as I have looked over the years, she never created designs in my colours again.


Kate sold the name and company and started on other things, including a family. All this I learned today with the articles and news around her death. Her name has always held a special place for me and my thoughts are with her family, and with any who suffer so much that they take their own life.


I just want to share a photo of the bag and my thoughts and thank you to someone who brightened up my life.  And I will always treasure her priceless pieces.



I wish that her colours were able to give light to her darkness as my colours give to mine. RIP Kate Spade.


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.


  1. Hi Yvette,

    It’s a great read as always.

    I am sorry for Anneliese’s injury and hope she recovers well soon. I admire her brave playing on.

    The Saints were competitive on Saturday night and I am happy to the result.

    We can create The Noise of Affirmation at the MRV Match next month, can’t we? Let’s hope the mighty Saints beat Tigers at my first game experience.

    RIP Kate Spade. It’s sad that she hadn’t produced the red, black and white ones for years…



Leave a Comment