Round 14 – St. Kilda v Geelong: Saints Out Tackle Cats In A Claw Biting Classic

By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday June 25, 7.25 PM

Etihad Stadium

 

The Saints in thirteenth place on the ladder toppled the league leading Cats by 3 points in a pulsating clash. A win is a win, and there is always more to appreciate when it is against a top side. But this one was special for a number of reasons. First, the Saints midfield of Sebastian Ross David Armitage and Jack Steven matched if not neutralised the Cats midfield stars. Ross, in his 50th game with back Jimmy Webster, was best on the ground. Second, while the talls up forward had good games, Paddy McCartin, Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey had limited impact on the scoreboard; they all kicked one goal.

 

With Nick Riewoldt, playing a midfield role, the goal scoring came from the smalls and medium sized players. The smalls, Darren Minchington kicked 3, all in the second quarter, and Jade Gresham 1 (more of which later). Nathan Wright kicked 2, his first for the club (in 22 games) in the first quarter, and played on with an injured arm/shoulder, Jack Newnes kicked 2, one from the intersection of the boundary line and the 50 and Marvelous Maverick Weller put through 2 in the third; one a long shot near the 50, when things looked bleak for the Saints.

 

Third, was the manner of the win. The Saints dominated the first and second quarters. They were full of run and kicked 4 in each quarter. The Cats had too many giraffes on the field and with the Saints having neutralised their midfield, the Saints went into the main break with a 4 goal lead. The Cats went small in the second half. This change in tactics worked. They dominated the center bounces and things went haywire for the Saints who provided two gift wrapped goals from turnovers. The Cats had kicked 6 of 8 in the third before Weller scored his two late goals for the Saints to lead by 11 points at the last change.

 

The Cats dominated the early stages of the last quarter and kicked two goals to regain the lead. The Saints came back with Luke Dunstan missing everything from a free kick in the forward 50. From another forward entry the ball bounced over the head of a Cats defender into the arms of Blake Acres who kicked it to Tim Membrey, who marked 20 meters in front. He missed and the Cats ran it downfield for an easy goal. What should have been a 2 point lead was now a 9 point deficit. With six minutes left, disaster loomed.

 

Enter Jack Stevens. From the center bounce he grabbed the ball, ran free and kicked wide to the forward pocket. Jade Gresham grabbed it on the boundary line, did a half Milney (remember he is number 22), turned his Cats’ opponent inside out and snapped an all time classic goal. This was the crucial momentum shift which decided the game. The Saints again pushed the ball forward for Jack Stevens to boot one of the ground for a 3 point lead. In the final few mad minutes of the quarter the Saints held out well. Nick Riewoldt was outstanding in the last quarter, Blake Acres gathered several possessions in the final few minutes and Tom Hickey laid a crucial tackle on Patrick Dangerfield in the last minute as he threatened to break free. Players threw themselves into aerial contests to punch the ball away and tackled the Cats into turnovers and mistakes. An all round team effort for a great victory.

 

The Suns away next week.

 

Go Saints!

 

St. Kilda:   4.2   8.6   12.8   14.9 (93)

Geelong:    1.4   4.6   10.9    13.12 (90)

 

Goals

St. Kilda: Minchington 3, Wright 2, Newnes 2, Weller 2, McCartin, Bruce, Membrey, Gresham, Steven.

Geelong: McCarthy 3, Hawkins 3, Kersten, Lonergan, Dangerfield, Menzel, Murdoch, Blicavs, Motlop.

 

Best

St. Kilda: Ross, Riewoldt, Steven, Weller, Montagna.

Geelong: Selwood, Dangerfield, Enright, Henderson, Duncan.

 

Umpires: Farmer, Findlay, Fleer, Mollison.

 

Crowd: 28,745.

 

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

Comments

  1. jan courtin says:

    Was a fantastic win Braham. One of the most impressive aspects was that you came back after Geelong got the ascendancy; that’s a real credit to the young guys in the team, being guided by the experienced heads. I’m grateful that you won, also from the Swans’ perspective. Keeps us there with Geelong, if not at this stage, maybe just ahead!

    One of the best games of the year.

  2. Guru Gus - Singapore says:

    Agree it was one of the best games of the year.

    Thank goodness we had a decent game in Round 14 – the AFL needed such a game! The other 5 games were pretty lame – exception being the Suns had a good crack.

    Well done to the Saints – they were truly magnificent on Saturday night, and that comeback from 9 points down, plus the defensive actions in the last 4 minutes to stop the Cats from scoring were superb. StKilda clearly took some lessons away from the narrow Hawthorn and North losses.

    Exciting times ahead for the Saints!

  3. Hi Braham,

    Our midfielders did well with possessions and kicking towards the forward pocket to score goals even if Geelong’s defense line was hard and tough. Also grabbing the ball back from the opponent in the midfield was wonderful. Our new game plan works out well. I admire Richo to create such on field manners.

    Also I admire small midfielder players to cover up shy forwards in the game. We seem to have more Stephen Milnes on the recent days at St Kilda?? If the tall forwards plus Hickey show powerful kicking, we will be the very best in the competition.

    I agree with Jan and Gus that the match was one of the best games in 2016.

    Go Saints!

    Yoshi

  4. Rulebook says:

    A fantastic effort by the saints and it’s good to see a club that was honest with themselves and rated there list correctly and set a long term plan is starting to come to fruition.While it is nothing to do with the saints this stupidity of rotating your best player off the ground in the last few minutes with the game in the balance is unbelievable if it was cricket there would be match fixing accusations

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