Round 20 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: St Kilda’s Season From Hell Continues


By Braham Dabscheck

7.25 PM, Saturday 4 August

Etihad Stadium


The Saints took on the Dogs at Etihad stadium on Saturday night. Both sides have had seasons they would rather forget. The Dogs had only won one game in the last three months. The Saints have only really shined in two games; the come from behind win against the Suns and hanging on against the in form Demons. A good contest beckoned with both sides looking for a victory to redeem their forgettable seasons. Nathan Freeman made his debut for the Saints overcoming injuries which have seen him sidelined for almost five seasons; 1718 days to be precise. He showed signs that he is worthy of more games.


The game had hardly begun before Josh Battle suffered a concussion and played no further part in the game. Roarke Smith suffered a similar fate for the Dogs later in the quarter. The Dogs dominated the early stages of the first quarter but missed goals from set shots. The Saints then took over and kicked four unanswered goals. They kicked the first of the second quarter. The Dogs finally steered one through the big sticks with the Saints responding to be in front by 28 points.


Then disaster struck. Having kicked 6 of the first seven goals the Saints fell in a hole. The Dogs kicked 15 of the next 18 goals. They grabbed 6 in the second quarter and 8 in the third. They only manged one in the last to the Saints two when the game was done and dusted.


Saints bigman Tom Hickey aggravated his hamstring in the second quarter. While he was off the ground the Dogs kicked three in as many minutes and turned the game around. Big Tom came back on in the second and started the third quarter. From the first bounce it was clear that he could hardly move. To his credit he played up front in the last quarter to provide rotations for the rest of the team.


Apart from the first quarter and the early part of the second the Saints could not match the pace and teamwork of the Dogs. The Dogs were off the leash. On top of this the Saints inability with kicking, whether it be passes to teammates or shots in front of goal returned. Opportunities to score were squandered by players not passing to a teammate in a better position or not being able to kick straight. Beside the structural problems caused by Big Tom being immobilised, too many players went missing.


The Saints have had a terrible season with injuries, especially forwards. To the extent that anything has been gained from the season it has been the experience provided to new players. With a full list to choose from and a desire to make amends for the season from hell that has been 2018 the Saints will hopefully make a better fist of 2019. What else can we Saints hope for? And then again, maybe the Saints can cause upsets in the games that remain


Go Saints (especially next year).


St. Kilda    4.2   7.4   7.9   9.14 (68)

Western Bulldogs   0.5   6.6   14.12   15.13 (103)



St. Kilda: Ross 3, Lonie 2, Newnes 2, Membrey, Geary.

Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli 4, Schache 3, Greene, Jong, Macrae, Hunter, Dickson, Lipinski, Wallis, Crozier.



St. Kilda: Ross, Webster, Steele, Billings, Lonie.

Western Bulldogs: Johannisen, Macrae, Dunkley, Daniel, Bontempelli.


Umpires: Dalgleish, Fleer, Haussen.


Crowd: 20,748.


Our Votes: Johannisen 3 (Western Bulldogs), Macrae 2 (Western Bulldogs), Ross 1 (St. Kilda).


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  1. Given how the Western Bulldogs have been travelling, Braham, this game – particularly the last 2.5 quarters – would have to be St Kilda’s worst performance of the year.
    For you and the Saints faithful, hopefully they can win at least one of their last three games.

  2. Braham Dabscheck says

    Thanks Fitzroy Pete. As it has been said before you have to be a Saint to be a Saint.

  3. You’re not wrong there, Braham.
    When I first began following footy (WAFL and then the VFL) in the mid-late 1960s, St Kilda was a genuine force and 1966 seemed like it would be the first of many premierships.
    My beloved Fitzroy would invariably be stitched up the Saints who were a consistent power until 1973.
    However, there’s been many years of heartache and near misses since (1971, 1997, 2009 and 2010 spring to mind for the St Kilda faithful).

  4. Rocket Singers says

    Good report Braham, but you would have been better off at the SCG. Still room on the Swans band-wagon!

  5. Good write-up Braham. I was at the game and didn’t know about the Battle and more importantly Hickey injuries (although I suspected something was up when Hickey was deep in the forward line during the third quarter – I thought he ran like that normallly!). It would be nice if the punters at the ground were kept better informed with injuries etc. Even the odd replay would be good.

    As a Doggies supporter I know that dreams can come true! Good luck to the Saints.


  6. Neil Anderson says

    Your last paragraph could easily been written by Bulldogs supporters if the Dogs had continued with that first quarter debacle. For once the Bulldogs improved during the match instead of teasing us with only a good first- half.
    You are right, we have to rely on the debutants getting games under their belt to be ready for next year. I know we should be hardened with our lack of success over the years, but it does get tiresome saying, “There’s always next year”. Expressions that the Hawthorn’s and a few others don’t have as part of their vocab.
    Like Yoshi and Yvette you never give up on your team and you keep submitting your reports which is admirable.

  7. Braham Dabscheck says

    Neil, Mick, Rocket and Fitzroy Pete, Thanks for your comments. I am afraring that I may not be around if and when it wins it’s next premiership. 1966 is such a long time ago!!

  8. Here’s hoping you’re around for a long, long time yet, Braham.
    But just as “insurance”, let’s hope the Saints come marching in in the last match of the season very soon.

  9. G’day Braham,

    It’s said AFL clubs should risk injuries, but too many hit us. Our forward and ruck are in bad now.

    As Longer had already been ruled out and now Big Tom is gone, who will be a ruck man on Friday?

    We were good in 2015 as less injured, but injuries hit a lot in these years. Also our leadership needs to be stronger and core. Seeing Rooey and Joey go is so painful. I want them to be back to the club as mentors.

    Let’s hang in there and hope we will be in better side in 2019. I can’t wait seeing our boys marching in next year, especially when I am attending another game.



  10. Braham Dabscheck says

    Yoshi, I assume that Marshall will play in the ruck. With Josh Battle off the ground after a minute and Big Tom injured the Saints lost their shape. They will be better next week and, like you and all Saintets, I look forward to next year; a refrain of all of us!

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