Round 14 – St Kilda v Gold Coast: The enigma that is St Kilda – Three splashes of sunshine in lacklustre win over undermanned Suns


By Braham Dabscheck

Sunday 25 June 2017, 4.40 PM

Etihad Stadium


This was not one of the great games of footy. The Saints went into the game as favourites against the undermanned Suns. The Suns had made seven changes, all but one due to injuries including champion Gary Ablett Jr, who missed out on playing his 300th game. There was a period in the second quarter when it appeared the Suns would run over, or more correctly away from, the Saints. A turning point occurred, more of later, which got the Saints back into the game.


The match was one of turnovers and errors. The major problem for the Saints was their kicking, both field and shots, especially set shots, for goal. The Saints kicked 19 points plus another five out of bounce. At least 10 of the 19 points should have been goals. Hopefully, one day the Saints will kick straight; they will certainly need to against better sides than the Suns and Kangaroos last week. In the final analysis, the win was based on a superior tackle count and the solidity of the backline.


The Saints dominated the early part of the first quarter, a dominance which was frustrated with poor kicking for goal. The mosquito fleet of the Suns then took over and dominated the last half of the first quarter and the first half of the second quarter. In this period, the Suns outscored the Saints six goals to three. They were controlling the play, with the Saints struggling to lay a tackle and when they had possession turning it over. It was during this stanza of Sun’s dominance that the first splash of sunshine occurred. The ball was kicked forward to where there were three Suns and a lone wolf in the person of Jade Gresham. Jade launched himself into the air, rode on the shoulders of a bigger Sun and took a screamer. Unfortunately, his shot for goal struggled to find its way inside the point post.


The second splash of sunshine also occurred in the second quarter and turned the game. The Suns kicked the ball to their half forward line to Peter Wright, a behemoth of a man at 203 centimeters and 100 kilograms. The only Saint in the vicinity was diminutive Jack Lonie, who always gets into games for nothing on Sundays, with a height of 174 centimetres and weight of 71 kilograms. It looked like Wright would take a mark and launch another attack for the Suns. Jack Lonie had other ideas; he likes taking on big guys. He decided to climb up the ‘step ladder’ that he saw before him and effected a turnover which lead to a quick foray down the wing which resulted in a push in the back to Nick Riewoldt, who kicked truly. This was Saint Nick’s 708th career goal and elevated him to 21st place on the all time VFL/AFL goal kicking list. Well done, Nick. He kicked another two, should have had a fourth after playing on and being tackled in the goal square. The Saints kicked another two quick goals; a mark to Saint Nick on the goal line and a long bomb from Jack Billings.


The third quarter was an unproductive arm wrestle. The Saints kicked two, the Suns one. ‘Marvelous’ Maverick Weller finally kicked straight with one off the ground a few centimeters from the goal line. The third quarter produced the third splash of sunshine from one of my favourite players, Jimmy Webster. The Suns mounted a forward entry which was kicked low to the ground to an advancing forward. From seemingly nowhere Jimmy threw himself parallel to the ground, Superman style; the only things missing were the mask and cape, and punched the ball away. Sheer brilliance.


The Saints controlled the last quarter kicking four goals to two. The highlight was when Jake Carlisle, went forward, took a mark on the boundary line and kicked truly with a long goal. See forwards, this is how you kick a goal!


Jack Billings form continues to improve with a best on ground performance. The rest of the team were consistent with no one standing out. Jack Lonie had an excellent first half and Jack Steven and Jack Sinclair had solid second halves. Individual backs did something when it was needed. One can only hope that the Saints will quickly find their kicking boots; otherwise the rest of their good play will count for naught.


Dockers next week away against former coach Ross Lyon.


Go Saints!


St. Kilda       3.6   8.11   10.14   14.19 (103)

Gold Coast   4.2   7.5    8.9   10.12 (72)



St. Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Membrey 2, Newnes 2, Bruce, Weller, Billings, Lonie, Carlisle, Dunstan, Sinclair.

Gold Coast: Wright 2, Lemmens, Shaw, Swallow, Witts, Fiorini, Lyons, MacPherson, Saad.



St.Kilda: Billings, Steven, Sinclair, Brown, Roberton.

Gold Coast: Harbrow, Lyons, Fiorini, Saad, Witts.


Umpires: Gavine, Hosking, Nicholls.

Crowd: 15,844.


Our Votes: Billings 3 (St. Kilda), Harbrow 2 (Gold Coast), Steven 1 (St. Kilda).


Leave a Comment