Round 18 – St Kilda v Port Adelaide: A day of barracking for and against the Saints

 

There was almost an eerie symmetry of two games – one at Marvel Stadium and the other at Rockhampton’s Kele Park.

 

Both venues involved the Saints.

 

Marvel Stadium hosted St Kilda against my mob Port Adelaide Power and Kele Park is the home turf of Rockhampton Brothers Kangaroos.

 

Both games produced cracking finishes but with mixed feelings for your’s truly.

 

The Boyne Island-Tannum Saints produced the effort and intensity that eclipsed red-hot favourites Glenmore Bulls last Saturday.

 

The Saints almost did the same against the Rocky Brethren.

 

Inspiring BITS Saints captain Brendan Clarke, his burly beard waving in the breeze, booted his fourth to level scores and another upset loomed in what was to become an epic finish.

 

In a game that also marked a ‘Memorial Day’ to remember all Brothers and Saints members and players who have passed – it was a memorable finale for a rising star.

 

Damon Dissent rose above the pack to pull down a powerful mark.

 

Then the final siren went as the hearts of all BITS Saints supporters sank.

 

Any score would do and it did as Dissent’s kick sailed through the goals.

 

He was met with 21 other teammates and sat upon while BITS players slumped to the ground knowing that, with all the injury and adversity, that the team can match it with the best.

 

Now onto the other game that had the same theme where a team besieged with injuries rose to the challenge.

 

Port Adelaide Power’s Mitch Georgiades booted a match-winning four goals and Charlie Dixon the sealer as the undermanned Power swept past in-form St Kilda and into outright fourth spot on the AFL ladder.

 

Dixon danced around former Port Adelaide defender Dougal Howard and into an open goal to ice an all-important 10.14 (74) to 8.13 (61) win.

 

Scores were level after the Saints booted three quick goals either side of three-quarter-time and momentarily hit the lead before Sam Mayes marked in the goal square.

 

Port never looked back after his goal.

 

With no Orazio Fantasia, Zak Butters, Robbie Gray, Xavier Duursma, Connor Rozee and Steven Motlop, the win was even more impressive given St Kilda’s form in the past month.

 

Ollie Wines was again superb with 36 possessions and a goal that put the Power 19-points clear, Karl Amon shook off a knee injury scare to boot two goals off his right and left feet and gather 25 touches.

 

Ruckman Scott Lycett rose to the challenge against former Power team-mate Paddy Ryder and ruck-forward young gun Rowan Marshall and Trent McKenzie led the defence with skipper Tom Jonas.

 

Port coach Ken Hinkley knows it’s all about maintaining the rage and top-four, even top-two aspirations in the next five rounds.

 

“Right now it’s really important to be [in the top-four]. But it’s more important in another five games,” he said.

 

“We’ve seen how the competition’s starting to go a little bit at the moment, it’s a bit hard to read, it’s a bit hard to predict.

 

“All we can do is control what we can, win as many games as we can.  

 

“At the end of 22 rounds, we’ll see where we are then and we’ll do what we can from there.”

 

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be honest … St Kilda’s been in as good a form as anyone in the competition over the last three or

four weeks, they’re playing really strong footy, they’re playing for a position in the top eight,” he said.

 

“We had lots to play for ourselves, we’ve been stretched a little bit no doubt [with injuries].

 

“We used our squad pretty deeply and I’m so proud of what the boys were able to do.”

 

The Power will host potential party-poopers Collingwood this Friday night and the Pies will be buoyed by a shock win against Richmond Sunday week ago.

 

Given the unpredictability of the past few games and of course what the latest COVID-19 scenarios will bring – Richmond beating Brisbane Lions, Hawthorn forcing a draw against ladder leaders Melbourne and the Gold Coast Suns pushing the Western Bulldogs to the limit – there will be more twists and turns to the make-up and order of the top four and top eight in the final few weeks of the minor round.

 

ST KILDA                2.4    3.5.   6.9     8.13 (61)

PORT ADELAIDE    1.0    4.6.   7.11   10.14 (74)

 

GOALS
St Kilda:
 Marshall 2, Steele, Butler, Ryder, Webster, King, Hill

Port Adelaide: Georgiades 4, Amon 2, Woodcock, Wines, Mayes, Dixon      

 

BEST
St Kilda:
 Steele, Crouch, Marshall, Hill, Dunstan
Port Adelaide: 
Wines, Amon, Georgiades, McKenzie, Lycett

 

INJURIES
St Kilda: 
McKenzie (concussion), Highmore (hand)

 

Port Adelaide: Woodcock (corked thigh)

 

SUBSTITUTES
St Kilda: 
Jack Bytel (replaced McKenzie)

Port Adelaide: Jed McEntee (replaced Woodcock)

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE

 

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About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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