Round 4 – St Kilda v West Coast: Saints find their inner Saint and fly high over the Eagles


St. Kilda v West Coast Eagles

4.35 pm, Saturday 10 April

Marvel Stadium


Well into the third quarter the Saints were down by 33 points. They were more competitive than they had been in their last two outings, where they had gifted a game when they were in the ascendancy against the Demons; and were simply inept against the Bombers. Despite the Saints’ best efforts and improved performance, the Eagles were more efficient and clean going forward. They capitalised on the Saints’ turnovers and kicked easy goals. The Eagles were in cruise control and heading for an inevitable win.


Maybe the Saints would get a few more goals; but the Eagles had nothing to really worry about. The Saints looked inside themselves and said (well, not really said, but I think you know what I mean) ‘enough is enough’. They kept plugging away. Relentless pressure and determination turned what looked like a loss into a convincing and rousing victory.


The Eagles kicked the first three goals of the game, the second from a dubious free. The Saints rallied and kicked the next four. Max King had a purple patch, kicking three, one from a crumb and two from marks. With only a few minutes to go, the Saints were controlling play, and kicking goals to boot. The Eagles then kicked three in a hurry and were two goals to the good at the first break.


The game then settled into an arm wrestle. It was noteworthy that this game wasn’t as free flowing as recent encounters this season. Coaches, across the league, seem to have worked out how to counter the new rules associated with the fast footy of the first three rounds. Rowan Marshall limped off early in the second quarter and with only Jake Carlisle as a recently reconstructed back up ruckman, things looked bleak for the Saints (The Eagles’ Shannon Hurn was subbed out early in the first quarter. He equaled the Eagles’ playing record of 290 games; well done Shannon). The Saints were ahead on inside 50s for the quarter (14 to 11) but couldn’t convert, whereas the Eagles could with four goals to one.


Marshall returned for the second half. The Saints dominated the play but couldn’t convert this into scoreboard pressure. Max King took a strong mark early in the quarter. From a set shot in front, 30 to 35 meters out, he struggled to kick it out of bounds on the full. It looked like it was going to be one of those days with lots of effort and no reward.


The Saints finally got one after sustained pressure and the Eagles instantly replied. The Saints got another and the Eagles kicked another another two in less than a minute. They had kicked three from four forward entries in the third quarter and were 33 points to the good.


Enter Dan Butler. He had a purple patch in the third quarter with 10 possessions. He kicked two goals, and could have had four with a poster and another miss from a snap. He also set up the first goal of the quarter to Jack Billings from a simple chest mark near the goal square. Daniel McKenzie chimed in with a goal from a holding the ball free from an Eagles’ error. This heralded the turning point of the game. The Saints grew in confidence and the Eagles made an increasing number of errors, fumbling marks and possession and bumping into each other.


The Saints dominated the rest of the game. Down by 10 points at the last change they scored five goals to a point in the last quarter, winning by 20 points. The possession count in the last quarter was 124 to 79. Everyone chimed in and did something important when it was needed. Max King kicked five, his best bag for the Saints. He could have had seven. Dan Butler finished with three, it could have been five. The midfield of Jack Steele, Brad Crouch, Brad Hill and Zak Jones all had good games. Jack Steele was outstanding with another best on ground performance.


The Saints’ season is now back on track. The team lifted and has found its mojo. Saints’ supporters are back in town, even if they live in Sydney.


Tigers on Thursday night.

Go Saints!!



St. Kilda                       4.2   5.5   10.11   15.12 (102)

West Coast Eagles   6.2   10.3   13.3   13.4 (82)



St. Kilda: King 5, Butler 3, Membrey 2, Billings 2, McKenzie, Steele, Higgins.

West Coast Eagles: Petruccelle 4, Darling 2, Allen 2, Kennedy 2, Ryan, Cripps, Winder.



St. Kilda: Steele, Crouch, King, Hill, Membrey, Butler.

West Coast Eagles: Petruccelle, Naitanui, Kelly, McGovern, Redden.


Crowd: 16,710 plus grief councilors at half time and heart specialists at the final siren.

Umpires: Harris, Stephens, Wallace.


Malarkey Medal: King (SK) 1, Crouch (SK) 2, Steele (SK) 3.



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  1. Saintsmania says

    Just a Saintsational win by St Kilda.

    This brilliant comeback win from St Kilda will be the confidence the players need to set up the rest of the season.

    It’s all about belief for St Kilda and playing the pressure game they played in the second half against West Ciast.

    The return of Rowan Marshall in the ruck automatically makes St Kilda look a better team, as will Paddy Ryder, when he returns.

    It was great to see Brad Hill back at his best and Brad Crouch, Zac Jones and Jack Steele are very good midfielders.

    If Max King continues his great form, St Kilda will continue improving.

    The pleasing thing was that St Kilda had 22 goers after half time.

    Carn The Mighty Saints!

  2. Congrats Sainters. Your blokes showed a lot of heart. Tackling and pressure outstanding in the second half.
    Ageing Eagles are falling apart physically. Nic Nait shouldn’t have played. Didn’t look willing/able to jump on the hard Docklands surface. We are a doughnut team with ageing stars; raw kids and not much in the middle. Keep winning our home games and hope to have. a full side come finals. Ho hum.

  3. Strange game. Saints effort was there for the first 2 1/2 quarters, but execution was poor. Leading indicator was Eagles lack of forward 50 entries, but very high conversion rate gave the Eagles a strong edge. Still hard to pick the catalyst that drove a 54-1 scoreline in the last 36 minutes of the game. Saints efforts grew more intense as the minutes ticked by. By the end, WC looked exhausted and rattled.

    Anyway, a strong win by the Saints, and terrific to see the work of Hill and Crouch and Higgins. Coffield seems to have lost confidence, but I do hope that we persevere – he had such a wonderful year in 2020, albeit largely unrecognized by the likes of Gerard Healy. Onto the Tigers – another challenge.

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