Saints win bruising encounter.

Round 2: St Kilda v Collingwood

It was a boring day. Sleeping in until 10, I faced a long wait until 8:30 for the footy to start on the TV (should be 7:30, I’m looking at you Better Homes and Gardens!). I got through the day by reading the Herald Sun and I started to re-read the 2008 edition of The Footy Almanac. Finally, the moment arrived. Luke Ball was up against his old side for premiership points for the first time, and I awaited the fireworks to begin.

And it didn’t take long, with Harry O’Brien roughing up Clint Jones, staring a small melee and a free kick to Collingwood before the ball had greeted the turf. Steele Sidebottom, a hero last weekend, marked and just missed with the first shot of the game, but Travis Cloke didn’t make the same mistake from 45m out, nailing the first goal. The Saints replied after a free kick and a 50m penalty was paid before the ball had even been retrieved from the crowd, Brendon Goddard putting through St Kilda’s first. A long wait comes between the next goal though, after some hard-hitting and bruising contests, Leigh Montagna marked and goaled to give St Kilda a tight four point lead at quarter time, 2.2 to 1.4.

The second quarter began and Alan Didak received a dubious free kick before he slotted his first, giving the Magpies the lead. The Saints impressed, with Goddard kicking a goal on the run, before Steele Sidebottom got onto the end of a sizzling pass from O’Brien. He goaled, before Nick Dal Santo marked and goaled, giving the Saints the lead once again. Controversy struck Etihad Stadium with Nick Riewoldt leading for the ball before Simon Prestigiacomo leaned over him to fist the ball away. Riewoldt fell on the ground clutching his leg, and then hobbled off the ground. Dayne Beams marked and goaled, giving Collingwood the lead at half time, 4.8 to 4.5, but all the talk around the ground and around Australia was on the topic of Riewoldt’s injury.

It didn’t look good as he emerged from the race on crutches and with his hamstring heavily iced as the second half started. Collingwood were expected to run away with this now. They had the fresh legs, they had the momentum, and they could smell victory. Stephen Milne could smell the goals though as he took an uncontested mark, ran in and grubbered one home to put his side back in front. Jason Gram marked and kicked a long goal, extending the lead to five points as the Pies butchered the goals. A significant moment came when Sam Fisher went to dive for a mark before Leon Davis came crashing in, bumping Fisher’s head, with the defender smacking his head on the turf on his way down. He was out of it, and was stretchered off the field and still by this time he hadn’t regained consciousness. Play went on, and not too long afterwards Lenny Hayes was met by Steven King in a contest, King breaking Hayes’ nose and the midfielder left the ground with blood pouring from his face. The Saints were battered, bruised, weakened, yet they still led by four points at the last break, 6.6 to an inaccurate 4.14.

The final quarter got underway and the odds of a Collingwood win were still high after a goalless third term. Adam Schneider got a hold of the hot footy and slotted his first of the night, before Michael Gardiner took a pack mark in the goalsquare (see Round 14, 2009) and goaled to push the lead out even further. James Gwilt (the curly haired twin of Harry O’Brien) kicked a goal on the run, and a snap out of a pack from Montagna saw the Saints out to a game-high 29 point lead, against the odds. Fisher returned to the ground to a loud round of applause, racking up a few possessions to finish off the game. Collingwood kept missing their chances, and at one stage I thought I could hear Danielle Eid screaming and pulling her hair out. Cloke kicked out on the full, Brent Macaffer missed a sitter from 15m out, the Pies piled on 17 behinds, while the Saints made it 48.20 from three games, winning by 28 points, 10.9.69 to 4.17.41.

I learnt a lot about St Kilda tonight. They were undermanned, didn’t have a key forward for the second half, but still kicked 6.4 to 0.9 for the final two quarters. Hayes was the spirit of St Kilda tonight, battling on with a broken snoz as his team battled away and gently picked Collingwood apart. How many weeks Riewoldt will be out for is unknown at this present time of 1:17AM, but I think in the next 10 hours, we’ll all hear the news that the Saints will be without their star for a lengthy period.

St Kilda 2.2—4.5—6.6—10.9.69

Collingwood 1.4—4.8—4.14—4.17.41


St Kilda-Goddard 2, Montagna 2, Dal Santo, Milne, Gram, Schneider, Gardiner, Gwilt

Collingwood-Didak, Sidebottom, Beams, Cloke


St Kilda-Hayes, Gram, Fisher, Goddard, Gwilt, Dal Santo, Gilbert, Baker, Montagna, Blake

Collingwood-Swan, Ball, Wellingham, Sidebottom, O’Brien


49,669 at Etihad Stadium


3: Lenny Hayes (ST)

2: Jason Gram (ST)

1: Sam Fisher (ST)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Steve Healy says

    I snuck on to the internet.

    Good report Josh, our votes were quite different

  2. Josh, i don’t think there was anyone who didn’t hear my screaming and on this occasion swearing.
    i think i should write letters of apology and hand them out to my neighbours.
    We are down one drinking glass, i kinda smashed one on the floor when we kept missing in the last quarter.
    My dad has officially disowned Collingwood. He came howe from work furious and said
    “Dont talk to me about the footy, i dont want to hear a word, i have had it with pathetic loses that should be wins!”
    and now im the only Magpie in the nest.
    Then at about 1:30AM Dad decides that i have to email the club, and so i did.

    Cant wait for the reply.

  3. Can anyone remember an occasion where two goals have been scored in an AFL match before the first centre bounce?

  4. 3- nah i wouldnt know, ask Mr.Healy

    p.s- i slept really awkwardly, i can’t move my shoulders or turn my head without feeling some sort of pain!

  5. 3: Dad and I were talking about that this morning.

  6. Damian Watson says

    Great work Josh,

    At the present time Riewoldt is reportedly looking at 10 weeks on the sidelines.

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