Round 16 – St. Kilda v Hawthorn: Here we go ’round the mulberry bush sandwiched between two explosive quarters

 

St. Kilda v Hawthorn

1:05pm, Sunday September 6

Metricon Stadium

 

 

After two close losses this was a game the Saints needed to win to maintain their chances of playing finals’ footy. Both the Saints’ spearheads were unavailable. Tim Membrey was recovering from surgery on his hand and Max King was given a break to help with his recovery. Rowan Marshall was pushed up forward and former Cat Ryan Abbott was included to share the ruck duties with Paddy Ryder.

 

All games find their own unique dynamic. The game started with the Hawks playing like bats out of hell with the Saints seemingly worrying if they should go back into the sheds to revise their Fathers’ Day greetings. Within the blinking of an eye the Hawks had piled on three goals; the Saints looked terrible. Mid-way through the quarter the Saints managed to exert themselves where they out-tackled the Hawks in an intense exchange on the wing. This was the first turning point in the game. The Saints kicked three goals in three minutes aided by sloppy manning up by the Hawks on one occasion followed by an undisciplined 50 metre penalty. It looked like the Saints were back in business; but it was not yet to be. The Hawks kicked another two with the Saints getting one back before the end of the quarter. Nine goals were kicked in the first quarter; champagne football!

 

The Saints brains’ trust said enough is enough and put an end to this open free-flowing play. They decided to play keepings off. The Saints controlled most of the play in the second quarter and took 45 marks as they criss-crossed the ground, mostly in the back half. To the extent that they turned it over to the Hawks they in-turn returned the compliment and gave it back to the Saints. The Saints only managed to get the ball into the forward 50 on seven occasions; the Hawks were much better with nine. There was only one goal kicked for the quarter, by the Saints’ Jack Lonie late in proceedings following a pass from Dean Kent. The Saints up by three points at the main break.

 

The third quarter repeated the tactics of the second with the Saints more than doubling their entries into the forward 50, which they wasted with poor kicking for goal. The Hawks scored a goal with their first forward thrust and one had that sinking feeling about what would happen. Rowan Marshall took a strong grab late in the quarter to get the Saints back into the game. Jack Billings, who spent most of the game forward, marked deep and wide in the forward pocket on his wrong (right) side as the siren was about to sound. Obviously worried about the hardness of the turf at Metricon Stadium he booted a rainmaker with his right foot which brought tears of relief to Saints fans with their side up by 13 points at the last change.

 

The game changed again in the fourth quarter. The Hawks got on top and dominated the forward 50s 15 to 8. They decided to replicate what the Saints had done in the third quarter and missed a series of gettable goals. The Saints kicked four goals from their forward entries, with two from the goal square with Jack Sinclair of the small brigade being especially prominent.

 

The Saints did enough to win against a Hawks outfit which has seen better days. Even though the win was a struggle they looked better as the game progressed. Kicking in front of goal, except for the last quarter, is a problem (with four posters) that needs to be worked on. The balance of the team should be improved with the return of Tim Membrey and Max King. Except for the opening stanza of the game, the defence looked solid and didn’t cough up any gift goals. The Saints’ mojo seems to be coming back. Crunch game against the Eagles on Thursday night.

 

Go Saints!

 

 

ST KILDA          4.4   5.8   7.13   11.14 (80)

HAWTHORN    5.1   5.5   6.6    9.12 (66)

 

GOALS

St Kilda: Marshall, Lonie 2, Steele, Butler, Jones, Billings, Battle, Ryder, Abbott.

Hawthorn: Bruest 2, Lewis, Gunston, Moore, O’Brien, Hardwick, Scully, Mitchell.

 

BEST

St Kilda: Steele, Coffield, Marshall, Jones, Ross, Long.

Hawthorn: Mitchell, Wingard, Day, Cousins, Scully.

 

Crowd: Sparse, noisy and relieved.

 

Our Votes: Steele 3 (St. Kilda), Coffield 2 (St. Kilda), Marshall 1 (St. Kilda).

 

 

 

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