Saints salute in stunning final term

IT was as good for St Kilda as it was bad for Collingwood, and in the blink of an eye, what looked to be a comfortable win to the Magpies, turned into a horror final term which resulted in the Saints picking up their first AFL Women’s win.

Saints coach Nick Dal Santo had copped heat during the week after starting the season without a win in the opening three rounds, including a loss at home to Port Adelaide last week after leading at three quarter time. Coming up against finals hopefuls Collingwood, it was always going to be a tough ask.

That certainly looked the case when the Magpies raced out to a 20-0 lead at quarter time, and the siren sounded as they were running in for a fourth first term major. Even when the Saints showed more resistance across the next two quarters, Collingwood held them at bay, leading 5.5 (35) to 2.3 (15).

Then, against the momentum, St Kilda ripped up the script and produced one of the most one-sided, dominant quarters of the season. Against a contested midfield and a stringent defence, the Saints made it look easy, while the Pies went ice cold. We take a look at that final quarter and how things went from a fourth consecutive loss for the Saints, to a miracle win.

CRITICAL MOMENT 1: 16 min left on the clock

Collingwood skipper Brianna Davey wins the ball at half-back, looks to switch, but then turns back towards two opponents in former teammate Jaimee Lambert and Nicola Xenos. They wrap her up, and while Davey gets the handball away, ruck Jesse Wardlaw won it and kicked forward, where it was gathered by Ella Friend. She handballed away from goal with midfielder Georgia Patrikios running towards her. Putting boot to ball with a clever snap, the shot sails through with 15:13 left on the clock.

CRITICAL MOMENT 2: 12:30 min left on the clock

From a boundary throw-in, Sabrina Frederick uses her body well against Wardlaw to take it out of the ruck, but in turning missed her boot. She rushed a stubbed kick off the deck which went a little over five metres for Patrikios to mop up, snap around her body and find Xenos in front of Collingwood defender Sophie Casey. Xenos goes back, composes herself and converts the set shot. The margin is back to eight points with 11:14 remaining.

CRITICAL MOMENT 3: 7:30 min left on the clock

Magpies speedster Sarah Rowe makes a couple of errors, including diving on the ball in midfield, where Alice Burke immediately tackles her and wins holding the ball. Playing on immediately, Burke kicks it to Wardlaw who is facing Frederick and Jordyn Allen. Despite not marking it, Wardlaw gets the ball goalside, and recovers quicker without going to ground. She put it straight in to Friend who is in front of Stacey Livingstone. Though the latter marked, two hands went into Friend’s back, and the left footer had no issues going back from 20m and slotting the goal to level the scores.

CRITICAL MOMENT 4: 6:45 left on the clock

From the next centre bounce, though Collingwood win a rare clearance out wide, Brittany Bonnici dumps the ball on the boot down the ground where it was marked by Olivia Vesely. She also ran off and took a bounce where she kicked to a contest at half-forward. Front and centre like any good forward, Xenos quickly won it off hands and weaved around a Collingwood defender to feed it to Molly McDonald. The talented youngster burst away from Rowe and slammed home a magnificent running goal and the Saints were in front.

CRITICAL MOMENT 5: 3:34 left on the clock

As forward Nell Morris-Dalton tries to run it out of defence, she is run down by opponent Bianca Jakobsson about 60m out who signals she is going long. Her hand gesture was enough for Pies defenders to ease off and prepare for the long kick in. Instead, she spots up Darcy Guttridge all alone 40m out. Though not perfect, the kick gets to Guttridge who takes the mark while wearing contact from Allen who was too far away to impact. Putting the icing on the cake, the former Magpie went back and made no mistake, putting it straight through the middle.



STATS (QUARTER 4)St KildaCollingwood
Inside 50s110
Fwd Half Possessions424

The above tells a damning story and shows a clear indication of the dominance St Kilda had over the Magpies. In a 20-minute blitz, the Saints piled on five goals from 11 inside 50s, with costly mistakes hurting the Pies. Though in the past the Saints have been unable to convert from turnovers – in fact St Kilda is ranked last in that area – they scored 2.2 (14) from turnovers in the last quarter alone. There were some promising signs from the home side, while the Magpies will desperately be awaiting the return of Ruby Schleicher and Lauren Butler.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments