Round 22 – Richmond v St Kilda: Saints prevail over the Tigers in turnover derby at the MCG

By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday 20 August, 2.10 PM

Melbourne Cricket Ground

All one can really say about this game is that the Saints won; or maybe it should be that the Tigers lost. The game played in perfect weather on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was fiercely contested by both sides but lacked the flair and skills usually associated with the game.

It is not clear why this was so. There were few examples of fluent play. Both sides seemed to play tempo footy with short kicks playing ‘ring a ring a rosy’ around their respective back 50s. And to the extent that either side tried to go forward, kicks – especially of the short variety – would go astray, a chain of handpasses would inevitably breakdown, easy marks were dropped, a ball would be fumbled and another ball up would ensue. The real contest was which team would commit the most turnovers; with the Tigers winning the day!

Having said this, the Saints were in command for most of the game and never looked like losing. With less than a minute left to play the Tigers had only kicked 4 goals. They managed 2 in the last minute to lose by 9 points. Three of the Tigers goals came from Saints’ turnovers and a dubious free kick in the third quarter; the only stanza of the game where it could be said they were dominant, winning the inside 50s 15/9.

The Saints started the game fairly well, despite coughing up the first goal from a turnover. Paddy McCartin marked well and kicked truly. He then experienced another way to get injured by breaking his collar bone in a tackle. After kicking a goal from the resulting free he spent the rest of the game on the bench. The fact that the Saints were a rotation down early in the game and still managed to maintain control is a testament to the rest of the team. Tim Membrey kicked a third from broken play and after the Tigers kicked their second from an egregious turnover, the Saints lead by 10 points at the first break.

The next two quarters produced 3 goals, 2 to the Saints in the second and 1 to the Tigers in the third. These two quarters only produced one highlight when the Saints moved the ball quickly along the members’ wing for Tim Membrey to mark in the goal square. The rest was turnover footy at its best!

The Saints Sam Gilbert is an enigma. A fearless player possessing an ability to weave his way forward with great pace but a left foot which lets him down. Moving him into the back half has been a key to the Saints’ revival this year. He dominated in the first quarter. On a number of occasions he grabbed the ball and kicked it long into the forward line to a Tiger who was grazing by himself in the back 50, inspecting the MCG’s turf. In the last quarter he produced the play of the day which ensured victory for the Saints. He burst onto a ball in the Saints back 50, surged forward and kicked it long to Tim Membrey who had taken over turf inspection duties in the Saints’ forward 50. Tim marked, looked around, contemplated kicking it to Josh Bruce in a contest, decided on the null hypothesis and passed it to Nick Riewoldt, 40 meters dead in front, who kicked truly. The skipper was the game’s outstanding forward.

Sebastian Ross controlled events, especially in the last quarter, and was awarded the Ian Stewart medal. The American Justin Holmes replaced the injured Tom Hickey in the ruck for his fourth game for the Saints. He was more than useful and has improved markedly from his three outings last year. Blake Acres played well, he has a bit of daring dash about him, and Jack Billings had one of his better games, kicking the Saints’ last goal. The defence played well; conceding only six goals speaks for itself.

The Saints are now 11 and 10. If not for the umpires against the Hawks earlier in the year and the loss against the Suns, who knows what could have happened. The Lions at home next week.

Go Saints!


Richmond:   2.1   2.5   3.9    6.10 (46)

St. Kilda:      3.5   5.8   5.10   7.13 (55)



Richmond: Rioli 2, Elton, Riewoldt, Moore, Lambert.

St. Kilda: McCartin 2, Membrey 2, Gresham, Riewoldt, Billings.



Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Rioli, Lambert, Houli.

St. Kilda: Ross, Acres, Riewoldt, Montagna, Billings.


Umpires: Deboy, Ryan, Stevic.


Crowd: 35,255


Our Votes: Ross 3 (St. Kilda), Acres 2 (St. Kilda), Riewoldt 1 (St. Kilda).




  1. Yvette wroby says

    Perfectly summed up. Crazy game.

  2. a deadset stuffup orf organic proportions

    hopefully McCartin watches the replay and realises he could have broken Vlastuin’s leg. get that out of his game and he can be a champ. we’ll have him at richmond thanks.

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