Round 17 – St. Kilda v Melbourne: Saints raise the roof under the roof in establishing a club record fourteen wins in a row against the Demons

By Braham Dabscheck

Sunday 17 July 2016, 3.20 PM

Etihad Stadium

 

The Saints prevailed against the Demons in an entertaining and free flowing game. The win was noteworthy for four reasons. First, it established a new club record with the Saints prevailing over the Demons for the fourteenth time in a row, with the streak commencing in Round 1 2007. It surpasses the lucky 13 streaks against Fitzroy and Richmond, respectively. Second, it was Luke Dunstan’s 50th game which he capped off with the last goal of the game.Third, the win was notable for the all round and even performance of everyone in the team. In previous matches a few players have stood out with major contributions. Fourth, the Saints are now 8 and 8 and lie 10th on the ladder with the possibility of sneaking into the Final Eight. Hope springs eternal!

 

The game started at break neck speed. The Saints had two early chances to kick goals but managed only points. On each occasion the Demons rushed it down the other end to kick goals. For most of the first quarter the Saints struggled to contain the Demons who had an extra 57 possessions for the quarter and ran away to lead by 17 points at the first break.

 

Things changed dramatically in the second quarter. The Saints matched up better and stopped the Demons’ run all over the ground. Well past the half way mark of the second quarter both teams had only managed to add a few points to the score. Then the Saints took over. Tim Membrey marked and kicked his third for the game. The umpires finally paid a free for incorrect disposal to Leigh Montagna who goaled. Josh Bruce marked for another. Then with a couple of minutes to go the ball was handpassed to Jarryn Geary who, let’s be honest, has proved to be unreliable in front of the big sticks, to kick a long goal. Then, to prove it wasn’t a fluke, he kicked a second with only seconds on the clock to give the Saints a 13 point lead at the long break.

 

The Saints dominated most of the third quarter and kicked two early goals. Then they missed at least four from easy set shots. The Demons rallied in the later stages of the quarter and kicked three in a hurry to be only down by 11 points at the last break. Despite the Saints’ dominance for the quarter their lead had been cut back. But this didn’t look like one of those games.

 

The Demons got the first of the last quarter to be only 5 points behind. They gained control at the centre bounce and kicked it forward but only for a reportable offence to be committed on Jarryn Geary. The Saints marched down the other end for Nick Riewoldt to snap one on his left peg. From the centre bounce the ball was kicked forward for Blake Acres to handball to Marvelous Maverick Weller to kick his third for the game. And the best was yet to come. The Demons kicked it out of defense to Dylan Roberton who marked strongly forward of the wing. He took off and landed a long bomb to kill off the game. The Saints had been challenged and had risen to the occasion.

 

The Saints, after the first quarter, worked out how to contain the Demons. For the remaining three quarters the Saints kicked 12 goals to 5. And if they had been more accurate in front of goal (14 points after half time, most of which were gettable) it would have been a thumping win. They out tackled the Demons and the defence held up well with numerous intercept marks and contributed 4 goals into the bargain. Possibly the best example occurred when Jack Newnes out-muscled Demon big man Max Gawn in the last quarter. Sean Dempster looked better following his second game back from injury. The two Jacks, Billings and Sinclair, had serviceable games on their return.

Go Saints!!

 

St. Kilda:    3.3   8.6   10.12   15.20 (110)

Melbourne   6.2   6.5    9.7   11.8 (74)

 

Goals

St. Kilda: Membrey 4, Weller 3, Geary 2, Bruce 2, Montagna, Riewoldt, Roberton, Dunstan. 

Melbourne: Petracca 2, Garlett 2, Gawn 2, Watts, Vandenberg, Hogan, Viney, Kennedy.

 

Best

St. Kilda: Hickey, Membrey, Montagna, Riewoldt, Steven.

Melbourne: Viney, Vince, Tom McDonald, Gawn.

 

Umpires: Bannister, Nicholls, Stephens.

 

Crowd: 25,322.

 

Our Votes: Viney 3 (Melbourne)Hickey 2 (St. Kilda), Membrey 1 (St. Kilda).

Comments

  1. I tipped the Dees – but since form means nothing to most of the teams in the competition I got burned! The Saints attack on the man was what carried them over the line however – the pressure after the first quarter was amazing.

  2. Patrick O'Brien says:

    Jeez, whatever Richo said to them at quarter time can he please say before the next match?

    Sainters were fantastic after the first break. I think Richo said the third quarter was the best he’s seen them play but sitting in the stands the second quarter really lifted the crowd and the boys got a great reception walking down the stalls at half-time. You could literally feel the sense of excitement in the crowd and the potential that everyone thinks this group has. The joint was buzzing, a textbook example of how energy can flow from the players to the crowd!

    Even the kicking was actually pretty good. The weird thing was all the simple misses happened in a fetid clump of ugly shanks – and they were ugly! – but either side of that period they looked good. Was it Robertson’s goal that we collectively bent our bodies to the right to help guide home? A great roar when that went in!

    And to finish, you can’t underestimate how important Rooey’s touch was to deny the Dees a goal in the third quarter. That wasn’t just a big five points saved, it was a lesson to the kids about giving your all in every moment of the match, on every blade of grass on the paddock. The Dees were deflated and the Sainters visibly lifted from that desperate leap.

    Great stuff from every player. More please!

  3. Dr Rocket says:

    Guess it goes some way to redressing what was probably a losing streak against Melbourne from circa 1954 until the opening round of the 1963 season?

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