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Round 18 – Sydney v St Kilda: Sinful Saints slide sideways (or maybe downwards) against Swans in Sin City


By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday 22 July, 7.25 PM

Sydney Cricket Ground


For most of the season, the Saints have turned up to games without their kicking boots. Their kicking for goal from set shots, and Josh Bruce when in the goal square, has been an exercise in pot luck. Well, against the Swans this problem was resolved in two parts. The first was that the Saints traded their kicking boots, the ones they don’t turn up with (see above, and stick with me even though this doesn’t make sense; as if footy makes any sense!) to the Swans who missed many shots for goal. It is frightening to think what could have happened if they had have kicked straight. The second part of the equation was that the Saints hardly managed to get the ball into their forward 50 to have shots they could miss. In the second quarter, the Saints only managed five entries into the forward 50 for two goals. For the match as a whole, the Saints lost the forward 50 count 65/37.


Much like the game against the Bombers, the Saints struggled to get the ball forward. They spent most of the game using short kicks and handpasses going sideways across the back half of the ground; umpteen possessions going from one side of the ground to the other still stuck in the back half. Eventually an error would be made and the Swans would swoop on the ball and reassert their control of the game. It was only in the last quarter that the Saints were more fluent; but by then the game had been done and dusted.


In the game against the Bombers, Sam Gilbert injured his hand which will see him on the sidelines for several weeks. In the third quarter ‘Joey’ Montagna pulled his hamstring, even though he was in possession of the ball at the time, which may result in him missing the rest of the season. It is conceivable that we nay have witnessed his last game for the Saints. His form during the year has been consistent averaging 25 possessions a game. Hopefully, he will turn out again next year and notch up 300 games as a Saint. He has been a stalwart of the club now for 16 seasons.


Luke Dunstan who returned from a stint with the twos was easily the Saints best player. He capped off a good game with a late goal, a long bomb shepherded through by Jack Lonie. Seb Ross, Shane Savage and Jack Steele had useful games, and Josh Bruce kicked three goals from limited opportunities. But more generally, the Saints lacked any fluency going forward and will need to solve this problem.


Next week should see the return of Tim Membrey which will enhance the balance of the team. Saint Nick had an off night and may be rested for the game against the Power. It is to be seen who will replace ‘Joey’. The Saints are still a chance to make the finals and surely they will improve on their last two performances. It has been one of those seasons and divine intervention will ensure that the Saints will lose their sinful ways in the city of churches.


You heard it here first.


Go Saints!


Sydney   3.5   7.8   11.14   14.17 (101)

St. Kilda   1.2   3.2   5.4   9.5 (59)



Sydney: Sinclair 5, Franklin 3, Towers, Kennedy, Hewett, Heeney, Rohan, McVeigh.

St. Kilda: Bruce 3, Stevens, Savage, Riewoldt, Billings, Newnes, Dunstan.



Sydney: Sinclair, Kennedy, Hannebery, Franklin, Grundy.

St. Kilda: Dunstan, Ross, Savage, Steele, Roberton.


Umpires: Findlay, McInerney, Stephens.

Crowd: 35,773.


Our Votes: Sinclair 3 (Sydney), Kennedy 2 (Sydney), Dunstan 1 (St. Kilda).

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