Round 4 AFLW – St Kilda v Fremantle: Heartwarming then heartbreaking – a truly Moorabbin afternoon




I can’t even re-watch this game. In the final five minutes, all the hard work and stubborn persistence of the Saints women came to naught. One mistake from Molly McDonald, of placing the ball on the ground rather than passing it to the Fremantle player Kate Flood, led to a 50-metre penalty and a score equalling goal. (And led to discussion all week on whether a 50-metre penalty is too much in the women’s game, and in my 4 years of observation of VFLW and AFLW, I agree it’s too far, unless you are Caitlan Greiser). Without Tarni White in defence (knee injury), and the wonderful, fast Kate McCarthy to attack (knee injury), there was no extra zoom to get the ball into the Saints forward line and at least draw the game.  St Kilda lost to Fremantle by a heart-breaking point.


The St Kilda AFLW team has surprised all this year. They have taken it up to every team, and even stolen a win from Melbourne who are currently sitting second in Conference B. We had contained Fremantle, leading all afternoon, and probably have Carlton rather nervous this coming week. St Kilda have shown great promise, the most promise of all the new teams of 2020.


It was a brave, gut-wrenching loss. And the two injuries are shattering – for the players themselves, the team, and the supporters.


The day had started so well. Gary, Kiyoshi and I were at a player sponsors event, watching from a small balcony area, with food and drinks all provided.  Gary had found us a great table and seats where we had a near perfect view of the game. (There was one area of the ground that was completely blocked by an umbrella at another event but there was the screen to watch and get around this one imperfection.) The food was terrific, and it was hard not to eat too much. The seats were hard, but I had my trusty Saints AFLW pillow to cushion my bum on the hard, cold surface. The weather was warm. We were in the shade. We had plentiful supplies of everything we needed. We were in the place of love and commitment. We were among the faithful. The loving.



Two of the Saints AFLW listed players came out onto the balcony at half time to chat and headed straight to us. We chatted away about the team, their excitement visible, and it was wonderful talking footy and life with these two great young women with other sponsors next to us. Little did they suspect that by the end of the game, with two more injuries, they are likely to be called up in the coming weeks.


The Saints fans rose as one during the three goals from Caitlan Greiser, Olivia Vesely and Molly McDonald. The Dockers scored through Jasmin Stewart, Kiara Bowers and that late goal from Kate Flood. She couldn’t miss from the goal square.


The noise at Moorabbin was incredible. In any good mark in defence, good passage of play, or a hard-fought goal, the crowd were loud. Really loud. There has been no official stating of numbers, but it felt like just under 4000 spread around. It certainly sounded like more when the Saints did something great.


The disappointment at the loss hasn’t eased over the week. St Kilda supporters are too used to this feeling and we don’t want to be. The last words go to our leader Peta Searle in her coaches’ message to members.


‘Hi Saints fans, it’s a bit disappointing that we didn’t get the win, but everyone should be proud of our performance. You know, I spoke to the group, we’re in the business of winning and that’s what we want to do each week, we want them to believe that they can do it each week, and they should believe it because they can, but unfortunately, footy is a funny game and it just didn’t fall our way this week. They shouldn’t be judged on the win or losses, they should be judged on their performance, and their performance against a very good quality side, a side that’s been together for four years, a side that’s played finals versus a side that’s been together for 4 games, I think you’ll agree with me that they fought it out, they played a pretty good brand of footy you all, and myself, and they should be proud of.’


What’s best about this St Kilda team, is that you know that they will be there next week at Ikon Park to take on third placed Carlton (in Conference B), and give them a run for their money too. And we will be there cheering them on.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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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. Colin Ritchie says

    Gee, footy can be a frustrating game! A stupid mistake, a penalty, the opposition scores, game over! I’m sure your Sainters will learn a lot from this game Yvette, and as they say; there’s always next week.

  2. Hi Yvette,

    Watching replay would only deepen our broken hearts. I just hope our girls play better week by week and young Molly learns a lot from the mistake.

    Our girls will own it next time.


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