Round 2 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: We are where we are, and nowhere else

Etihad Stadium, Saturday 2nd April 7.20pm

It was some night at the Dome. It was Nick Riewoldt’s 300th game of football. A Herculean effort. It was a night to raise money for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, and hopefully heaps were collected. It was St Kilda’s first home game, and it was good to be back together again. And it was a thrashing at the hands of the vengeful Doggies. All those Preliminary Final losses the last times around were still fresh in the memories of the Western Bulldogs as they tore us to shreds.

What’s more, in a terrible game for the Saints, Nick Riewoldt was our best player, again. Last week we prided ourselves on a great three quarters of football against Port Adelaide. Our last quarter was terrible. (Leigh Montagna, Jack Stephens and Jack Newnes also played a good game in a terrible one.)

Uncle Bob said we just continued playing all of this game in the same last quarter of last-game form. I read somewhere this week that Nick Riewoldt commented how hard it was when we handed the ball over in our forward zone to the Bulldogs’ quick, running defensive outfit. Time after time, Saints fans and players watched helplessly as the Dogs made a meal of every mistake and I counted at least four times when we actually handballed or kicked directly to our opposition and they goaled. It doesn’t help when we are playing for the opposition.

I scraped the barrel for positives to cheer myself up from this awful game for Saints players and supporters alike. My friend Rina had made it to her first game for ages, and it was great travelling back with her. My Aunty Betty was there too. It was the end of daylight savings that night so we’d all get an extra hour to celebrate (Denise and her Doggie kingdom) or sleep to forget (Saints supporters).

Another positive was that I wouldn’t have to ever watch the game again. No replays this week for this bunny. Like the losses of 2009 and 2010, this night is burnt onto my retina and brain cells. It will be punishment enough that the players will have to review all this themselves.

The white caps with “Rooey 300” were fantastic. Being members, we were given ours for free, and we lifted them and shook them around every time Rooey did something great. I hoped that the purchase of these hats raised heaps of money, too.

Between groaning, there was some humour. “Welcome to kullaka-hood,” I say to my mob. A kullaka is a Yiddish word for a klutz or a drop kick or someone who makes a bit of a meal of things. The Saints were playing like true kullakas.

On the upside, Western Bulldogs are playing magnificent football, and it will be great to see them progress. Their defensive system is one to copy, and the speed of their attack left the crowd quiet indeed. Knowing many Doggies supporters, none of them will get ahead of themselves. Each week is a challenge, and I hope they are up to it. As Teddy Whitten would say, “Stick it up ’em” and keep going Doggies. Other than when you play the Saints, go get them.

I was already thinking heaps of my late Mum during this game. The second game where she wasn’t there for our halftime conversations. I wouldn’t get to hear, “They are so rough,” and “I had to turn it off because they were playing so bad” or “They’re not doing so well this year…” rung in my ears anyway. She may be off this mortal earth but her spirit was with us, watching this display that even her magical powers couldn’t fix.

Saints kicked us out of the game the few times they had the ball. The attempts at goals we managed were so scarce and rare. Five goals, six points for the entire night. The Doggies ended up with 13 goals, 15 points. It was ALWAYS up their end, in their hands, tackled and crashed and crushed out of ours. And they missed more than they scored, so it could have been SO much worse. They defended us to death.

A deep sadness came over me for the week. My usual routine of whipping up an Almanac article became hazardous. I couldn’t watch any footy shows or reviews, and thankfully missed most of the St Kilda talk on SEN during the week. We’d gone from slowly building up and no expectation to suddenly worse than Melbourne, Essendon and everyone else. Now everyone was saying and writing (I couldn’t help myself in the end) that St Kilda might not win a match for the year.

Now that’s an expectation adjustment I just didn’t see coming.

But like my Saints boys, I have to just get over it and go to work again. My job as a supporter is to keep the faith. All week we are being reminded of 1966 and our Premiership glory. Fifty years ago, St Kilda Football Club defied the odds and won their first. May we continue to defy odds and get another crack for a win of many games and a Premiership one day. Saturday’s game will be followed by our Celebration of 1966 and Hall of Fame, and Rina and I will be there with rings on our fingers and bells on our toes.

Regardless of how we are playing, there is nowhere else I want to be.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    I admire the fact you can still file such a good report after a disappointing loss. I am trying to take a leaf out of your book this season and told the Almanac admin I will be reporting on matches that the Dogs were unlikely to win, as of the start of this season.
    In other words I want to man-up and write about possible losses instead of easy wins. There are three or four teams we haven’t beaten for a long time and the Bulldogs need to beat them this year to be top-four contenders. The first one was Fremantle versus the Dogs which fortunately the Dogs won so there was no angst in writing about that one. The next one will be Dogs versus Hawthorn on Sunday, so if the Dogs lose I will stick to my guns and write a report instead of waiting for the next easy victory.
    As usual, fortunes of our Clubs can turn around quickly. I think it was David King last night who was quite bullish about StKilda and hinted he might even pick them against Collingwood on Saturday.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Yvette,
    Don’t know how you remain so loyal and positive with the Saints. Loved the Yiddish apt. Kudos to you and N.Riewoldt – one of the Saints greats.

  3. G’day Neil, from one North Footscray PS graduate to another.

    When did you last beat Hawthorn ?

    The three or f our teams in Question obviously include Fremantle and Hawthorn. Who rounds off the equation ?


  4. Neil Anderson says

    Good to hear from another Rosamond Road graduate Glen.
    I think the last time the Dogs beat Hawthorn was in 2010 down in Launceston. From memory we kicked a heap of goals in the first Quarter. So it will be nice to take them on at Etihad for a change on Sunday.
    The other bogy team is Geelong. I think we beat them last in 2006 just before they had their dynastic run.
    Once again by playing them at Etihad for a change, it will give us a chance in Round 13. Peter Gordon said at the start of the season one of the things he really wanted to see this year was a win against Geelong. I know how he feels.

  5. Good on ya Neil.

    Youse beat Geelong late in 209, just prior to the finals. They then beat you in the opening week of the finals.

    Good luck against Hawthorn.


  6. Hi Yvette. Did you see the program on tuesday, screened on the Fox Footy channel re the 50 years since your only flag?

    Good documentary , great hearing some of your club luminaries reminiscing as well as trying to ascertain whee/when your next flag arrives. Blokes like “cowboy” Neale and Alan Davis look in god nick. They were both top footballers.

    If you get a chance i highly recommend you watch it.


  7. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Glen, did watch it. Good doco but I felt a little sad after it, at the questions about whether we were jinxed! It is tough being a supporter and player of a deeply unsuccessful team, but at least we are having a crack (except for last week against the Doggies).

    Thanks for your comment.
    And thanks Neil and Phil and Glen.


  8. Hi Yvette,

    I wish I could watch the live coverage even if the mighty Saints lost. It would be frustrating but I wanted to stick to our boys and be better to watch the highlight video of the loss.

    I hope our Saints would not go back to the tough circumstances happened in 2014. As a few year supporter, I need more observation “experience” to gain loyalty, like Rooey has been.

    We are passionate supporters and will stay strong to see the second flag. Your great writing is a good reminder of our attitudes on supporting the Saints.

    Paddy’s kick towards Adams didn’t allow Doggies another goal that was lucky. Sadly we gave them such opportunities.

    Let’s hope the win tomorrow for the 1966 Grand Final replay.

    All the best


  9. Ah Yvette. The future belongs to those who write for it. One for the True Believers today over the Magpies. I’m sure you’ll be lining up at the Anniversary Dinner to pash Barry Breen tonight. Jeez he still looks good for 70(?)

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