Saints v Blues; Schneider here and there!

I was filled with a sense of foreboding as I sat up in the Ponsford andCarltonran onto the ground. No Jamison, no Carrazzo, the enigmatic Thornton rested and no jumpin’ Jarrod Waite up forward. A pointless match for a four points and all the omens were bad

While St. Kilda warmed up intensely, the Blues wandered about and kicked a few desultory shots into the big net. They weren’t ‘on’ and the body language said, ‘Let’s get over this without knocking our selves about before the Finals.’

But sometimes, you read it wrong. Milne kicked the obligatory first, of course, – round the corner and over his shoulder; apart from that the Blues were on top everywhere. Goddard battled hard but the St Kilda attack was stifled. Henderson, now proving to be a bona-fide backman with confidence to mark and run, beat Riewoldt hands down, Laidler and Duigan hit the ball fearlessly and rebounded it often enough for O’hAilpin to mark twice and goal. The Blues were chipping it around effortlessly, while the Saints chased their speedy tails and dropped clanger after clanger.

Yarran took off on electric runs, bouncing and swerving, once kicking a long touched point; Garlett, clear in the goal square and going the too-clever-by-half side-footer, butchered a simple goal opportunity and the eight point margin at quarter time was kind to St Kilda.

Milney scored the obligatory first goal in the second – round the corner and over the shoulder, of course – and Montagna was making an impression. The Blues game was faltering and Yarran’s runs were in ever-decreasing circles ending up nowhere very productive. A dreadful defensive error let Milne in for a chip to Stevens and, in the blustery wind, at half-time, the Blues, after running hot enough to pepper the goals for much of the game, were only 15 points up.

I was filled with a sense of foreboding.

The two big men, Kreuzer (Carlton) and Gardiner (St. Kilda) put the green jackets on at half time replaced by Marcus Davies and Farren Ray respectively thereby reducingCarlton’s attacking potential and increasing St. Kilda’s. The good form of Setanta O’hAilpin,Carlton’s ‘Leigh Brown’ factor (a few goals and a pinch hitter ruckman), caused Zac Dawson’s exile to the forward line too where he immediately bobbed up for two fine marks and a goal. When Koschitzke marked over little Joseph,Carlton’s lack of big defenders was patently obvious.

As Milne jinked his infuriating way past three defenders for his third, I felt just a smidgeon of admiration for the irritating little squirt’s effervescent skills. I shuddered and fought it back down immediately. But now the wheel had turned. The Blues were turning the ball over, its forward line was non-existent – the black fleet had flown. Schneider was beating the dainty Yarran in every one on one and the Bluesman, so exciting when he has the ball, must harden the hell up when he’s battling the other bloke for it. In the end, Schneider might have been the difference in performance and attitude, kicking good goals and pushing the ball around when seemingly out of the contest to set up several others.

The Saints were scrapping and potting unlikely goals and the Blues put the cue in the rack. With ten minutes to go, St Kilda were home, both in this match and in their first final next Saturday night. The win was important to them; less crucial to the Blues though a loss by a mere 20 points must sit better than the 96 point hiding Collingwood got from their fiercest rivals a week out from the final series.

In the end, the match didn’t prove anything much. The Blues had enough run early on to show they could, and should, have put it away by half-time.St.Kilda, as ever, proved tough and resilient, with enough flexibility to turn a sow’s ear into a quite respectable purse.

Carltonhas worries, though. Kreuzer is needed; Waite would be a real bonus; Jamison, Carrazzo and Thornton are essential and our quartet of ‘Leons’ must stand up in the Finals. When Jordan Russell and Setanta O’hAilpin – notwithstanding the latter’s good performance – ran on to the ground I had an awful feeling of déjà vu. It was 2010 revisited.  I thought, and hoped,Carltonhad moved on. Maybe so, maybe not. We’ve got several points to prove against the old enemy, Essendon, next Sunday. It’s always an unpredictable match-up; already I’m filled with a sense of foreboding



  1. Hi, love your “Scheider here and there ” line and the game written from the Blues perspective, and I did think you guys had the Saints over the barrel but didn’t shoot us through the head. So as we are want to do, we took it. Please please beat Essendon next week. Two out of my three kids are Blues supporters so they will be happy to go one step further this year. I love that the bottom four look ready to give the top four at least a few moments of worry.

    Be well


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