Round 23 – Richmond v St Kilda: Saints fall at the Final(s) hurdle


By Braham Dabscheck

Sunday 27 August, 3.20 PM

Melbourne Cricket Ground


A three part miracle trifecta needed to occur if the Saints were to qualify for the finals. The Dockers needed to beat the Bombers, the Crows outfly the Eagles and, most important of all, the Saints prevail over the Tigers. Miracles have never been on offer for Saints and not one part of the trifecta occurred. The Saints finished on eleven wins for the season, one less than last year, and eleventh on the ladder, just pipped on percentage by the Dogs, two places lower than 2016. A year where the Saints sort of stayed where they were with portents of hope for the future if only the team can learn to kick straight from set shots for goal.


Things started badly for the Saints with captain Jarryn Geary suffering a head knock in the early stages of the first quarter which forced him out of the game. The Tigers were simply too quick and slick for the Saints, moving the ball out of defence and scoring easy goals. Dusty Martin had a day out for the Tigers and was unstoppable in a best on ground performance. Jade Gresham had at last found his kicking boots and scored the Saints first three goals in the first half.


Down by seven goals at half time the Saints got back into the game in the third quarter scoring four goals to one. Jade Gresham kicked his fourth goal from a classy bit of roving and Jack Billings kicked a long bomb following fluent team play. Nick Riewoldt chimed in what proved to be his 718th and last goal for the Saints. Four other gettable goals were lost due to poor kicking for goal; the Saints’ Achilles heel.


Down by four goals at the last break the Saints at least looked competitive. Two moments of brilliance by Dusty Martin ended any hopes of a Saints’ resurgence. The Tigers reasserted control and kicked seven goals for the quarter against the Saints four. Jade Gresham kicked his fifth after the final siren to cap off his best game for the year.


Saint Nick’s career finally came to an end in front of 69,000 at the MCG. He was chaired off by his Tiger cousin Jack Riewoldt and the Saints’ Shakespearean actor Josh Bruce with a guard of honour of both teams and former teammates. In his various interviews of recent times Saint Nick has thanked all those around him for their help and friendship and the wonderful time he has had being a Saint. His generosity of spirit shines through. There he was holding his two young sons as a proud father looking forward to the future. I was at the Sydney Cricket Ground when he took his famous kamikaze mark. I couldn’t believe what I saw at the time. And no matter how many times I watch it on replay I still cannot believe what I see.


Farewell Nick Riewoldt.


Go Saints in 2018!


Richmond   4.1   11.5   12.7   19.8 (122)

St. Kilda      1.2   4.3   8.6   12.9 (81)



Richmond: Townsend 5, Riewoldt 3, Grigg 3, Prestia 2,  Martin 2, Butler 2, Graham, Cotchin.

St. Kilda: Gresham 5, Billings 2, Membrey 2, Bruce, Riewoldt, Longer.



Richmond: Marin, Grigg, Ellis, Townsend, Nankervis.

St. Kilda: Gresham, Billings, Steele, Steven, Longer.


Umpires: Donlon, Hosking, Nicholls.

Crowd: 69,104.


Our Votes: Martin 3 (Richmond), Grigg 2 (Richmond), Gresham 1 (St. Kilda)

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