Round 20 – Carlton v St. Kilda: Saints shine in MCG sun in shutting out the Blues

Saints shine in MCG sun in shutting out the Blues

 

 

Sunday 7 August 2016, 1.10 PM

 

Melbourne Cricket Ground

 

The usual lot of Saints is to worry about the pathway to football heaven. Even though they went into the game against the Blues as favourites, in their second outing for the season at the MCG, the usual level of anxiety reared its ugly head as the start of the game approached. Well, this is one of those games, from the first bounce, where the Saints were in control and never looked like losing. Other than for a short period in the third quarter when the Blues found some fluency, the Saints dominated the game from start to finish. They had two periods when they kicked five and eight goals, respectively, in a row.

 

The best thing about the win was that it was an all round team performance. In addition, the Saints found their kicking boots, with fifteen goals converted from set shots following marks in the forward 50. All of the ten kicked before half time came from this source. The two other goals resulted from a right foot snap by Tom Hickey following a ball up in front of the goal square; and one from Dylan Roberton in the goal square from a handpass by Josh Bruce who managed to use all of his balletic skills in stopping the ball going through for a point.

 

The Saints decided to use Jack Steven as a decoy to take the focus of the Blues’ stoppers away from the action. This opened up a pathway for Jade Gresham who had a best on ground performance. The Saints’ brains trust have converted him (number 22) from a half Milney (number 44) into a double Montagna (number 11)!! Tim Membrey grabbed another bag of five and Josh Bruce had one of his better games with 4 goals and good work around the ground when giving Tom Hickey a break from ruck duties.

 

The Saints out tackled and out played the Blues. They had seventeen smothers for the game (undoubtedly a world record!) and forced the Blues into turnovers and mistakes. The Saints movement of the ball, often with short kicks or handpasses which changed the angle of play worked well.

 

The worst part of the game was the shoulder injury to Luke Dunstan in the last quarter. It looks like he will miss the rest of the season. Nathan Wright also suffered a bad knock to the back and only came back on the field when Luke Dunstan was unable to continue.

 

This was the last game for the Blues veteran Andrew Walker who announced his retirement before the game. He was a player with outstanding skills who could take one’s breath away. He had little influence on the game; but he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe on that score. Both teams formed a guard of honour as he was chaired off by his teammates. He shed a tear. I hope that the next stage of his life will be happy and productive. Well done 1AW.

 

The Saints finals hopes are still alive. They will need to win the three remaining games and the Kangaroos lose all of theirs. Hope springs eternal. The Swans next week at night. Let’s hope that the sun shines on the Saints again.

 

Go Saints!!

 

Carlton:    1.2   3.5   6.7   7.9 (51)

St. Kilda:   4.3   10.5   14.6   19.8 (122)

 

Goals

Carlton: Tuohy 3, Cripps 2, Gibbs, Armfield.

St. Kilda: Membrey 5, Bruce 4, Billings 2, Wright, Acres, Armitage, Weller, Roberton, Riewoldt, Hickey Newnes.

 

Best

Carlton: Simpson, Cripps, Tuohy, Docherty, Gibbs.

St. Kilda: Gresham, Ross, Newnes, Bruce, Membrey.

 

Umpires: O’Gorman, Stevic, Ryan.

 

Crowd: 37,797.

Our Votes: Gresham 3 (St. Kilda), Ross 2 (St. Kilda), Newnes 1 (St. Kilda).

Comments

  1. Earl O'Neill says:

    Before Saturday arvo, I rated next week as a possible danger game for Sydney.
    Still, good to see the Sainters getting some good playing form. All best for 2017 Braham.

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