Power-ful Saint on heaven high after historic win

PORT star forward Ashleigh Saint was beaming post match at RSEA Park on Sunday afternoon after her side beat St Kilda for their first win of the 2023 AFL Women’s season.

Speaking post-match, she said she was feeling “Rreally happy and excited, the vibe is really good in the changerooms. It’s just a reward for effort so really good that we got the win.”

Saint was also excited about knocking off a side as established as St Kilda for the first time.

“St Kilda are a really good team, very contested and they got a lot of good recruits this year as well so we knew they were going to give it to us but really excited for us young girls to get the win against St Kilda today,” she said.

Saint was also happy with how she performed individually, and that her playing further up the ground compared to the past few weeks was all part of the plan.

“I felt like I contested really well, the girls got the ball to me in a one on one contest,” she said. “My role is to contest it and bring the ball to ground, take the mark if I can and finish my goals, which I did today.

“I swapped between two lines, so sometimes I find myself up the ground then the deepest to give either the ruck or a midfielder a rest down deep, but yeah I like playing higher when the team needs me.”

Port Adelaide had a strong spread of goal kickers for the first time this season, and Saint noted that the make up of Port’s forward line is stronger this year.

“I think we’ve got a really good forwardline this year. Even the mids can finish off that are resting down there, so we’ve got a range. We’ve got Gemma (Houghton), we’ve got myself, I think Hannah Ewings is really good kick for goal, and yeah [Indy Tahau] getting on the board today as well as Erin (Phillips) getting her first goal. It’s really good that it’s not all heavily reliant on me and it can spread across the ground.”

The Power came from behind in the final term and ultimately ran over the top of the Saints, but Saint said that coach Lauren Arnell’s message at three quarter time had been pretty simple.

“I think just continue what we were doing,” she said. We needed to keep the pressure acts up, our game is heavily reliant on pressure. Getting that pressure, that perceived pressure and just capitalising, getting the ball long to our one on one targets because our forwardline is very dominant and fast, so getting it to us forwards to make the contest and press in the game.”

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