Game Day 2nd Elim Final, 2020 - St Kilda v Western Bulldogs Saturday 3 October 2020 - 4:40 PM (AEST)

Who kicks our first goal?


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_Mike_

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SUMMARY

Having both successfully navigated important round 18 clashes, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs now renew a rather unique 21st century finals rivalry. The two sides met in successive preliminary finals in 2009 and 2010, with the Saints winning spiteful battles on both occasions. Now, St Kilda returns to the post-season for the first time in nine years, while the Western Bulldogs are back for their second straight finals appearance.

WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR?

Round two: St Kilda 14.4 (88) defeated Western Bulldogs 7.7 (49)

Plenty of water has gone under the bridge since St Kilda thrashed the Western Bulldogs by 39 points to restart their respective seasons back in June. The Saints were completely dominant at Marvel Stadium, with Jack Billings (24 disposals, three goals) helping to sweep Luke Beveridge's team aside with ease. Recruits Dan Butler and Zak Jones also caused plenty of headaches, as the Western Bulldogs fell to 0-2 on the season with defeat.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

St Kilda

Max King is a jet, but St Kilda can't rely too heavily on the young forward in attack. King has won just 12.8 percent of his one-on-one contests this season, ranking 49th of the top 50 targets in the League. Furthermore, when the two sides met in round two, King was targeted eight times inside 50, but took only one mark inside the forward arc. St Kilda's attack is most dangerous when it is spreading the love, with Rowan Marshall, Tim Membrey and Dan Butler also providing consistent options throughout the campaign.

Western Bulldogs
Even though Aaron Naughton should play, despite a fractured cheekbone, expect Mitch Wallis to be the side's deepest target in attack. Wallis retained the ball from close to 48 percent of his forward 50 targets and kicked a goal from nearly 21 percent of his forward 50 targets this season – ranking fifth and fourth respectively in the League in both categories. He has proved a capable and dangerous option in the side's adaptable forward line.


WHAT THE STATS SAY

1. St Kilda won the hitouts 48-12 and the hitouts-to-advantage 20-3 the last time it played the Western Bulldogs. Both were the club's best differentials this season. Despite this, the Saints only won the clearance count 32-29.

2. Although they rank dead last for hitout differential and hitout-to-advantage differential over the last six games, the Western Bulldogs rank top-two in the League for disposal differential, contested possession differential, time in forward-half differential, scores from stoppage differential and scores from centre bounce differential.

3. Despite being based in Queensland for much of the season, the Western Bulldogs have played only one game at the Gabba this year – a 24-point loss to Brisbane back in round 11. Furthermore, they've won only one of their seven games at the Gabba since 2020. St Kilda finished with a 3-3 record at the Queensland venue this year.

4. Lachie Hunter could be the danger man on the outside for the Western Bulldogs. The midfielder ranks No.1 in the AFL for uncontested possessions, averaging 18.8 per game. He also ranks No.2 in the League for score involvements, averaging 6.7 per game.

5. Don't tip Callum Wilkie to lose many defensive contests. Of the 40 one-on-one contests the St Kilda backman has been involved in, he's won 42.5 percent of them – ranked fifth in the League. He also hasn't been out-marked once this season, according to Champion Data.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR

St Kilda

He's copped his criticism following a high-profile move from Fremantle last October, but now it's time for Bradley Hill to justify his recruitment. A triple-premiership player with Hawthorn, Hill is one of few St Kilda players to have tasted success in the finals. They'll need that experience on Saturday night. He's also coming in with some good form. Averaging an improved 19.3 disposals over the last month, his run will be important for the Saints.

Western Bulldogs
Tim English's
form over the last fortnight has been promising, impacting more frequently on the scoreboard to kick two goals in each of his last two matches. However, shouldering the majority of the ruck load will be a difficult task against St Kilda's twin attack in Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall. Limiting their effectiveness on the contest could be just as important as the impact English has going the other way.

PREDICTION: Dogs by 21 points.
 

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dogwatch

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I just want them to come out fired up and aggressive.
Let the Saints know from the first bounce that they aren't taking a backward step and they won't play like the pussies that got monstered in last year's Elim Final.

Changes from last year's Elim Final:

OUT: Dale, McLean, Hayes, Lloyd, Schache, Suckling, West, Lewis Young

IN: Keath, Bruce, Gardner, Daniel, Williams, Wallis, Liberatore, R Smith


We'll miss McLean but overall that is a heck of an improvement on the cattle we had running out in 2019. Especially the bigger bodies of Keath, Bruce and Gardner. The aggression and physicality that Bruce and Libba bring will also be important. Having an AA player like Daniel helps, as well as Wallis who is having one of his best seasons for the club.

I'm worryingly optimistic, or "quietly confident".
 
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D Mitchell

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I just want them to come out fired up and aggressive.
Let the Saints know from the first bounce that they aren't taking a backward step and they won't play like the pussies that got monstered in last year's Elim Final.

Changes from last year's Elim Final:

OUT: Dale, McLean, Hayes, Lloyd, Schache, Suckling, West, Lewis

IN: Keath, Bruce, Gardner, Daniel, Williams, Wallis, Liberatore, R Smith


We'll miss McLean but overall that is a heck of an improvement on the cattle we had running out in 2019. Especially the bigger bodies of Keath, Bruce and Gardner. The aggression and physicality that Bruce and Libba bring will also be important. Having an AA player like Daniel helps, as well as Wallis who is having one of his best seasons for the club.

I'm worryingly optimistic, or "quietly confident".
Wallis and Libba, in particular, cop no s..t from nobody. The rough up Bont worked once, St Kilda would be foolish to rely upon it again. If we win, from 7th, it'll make a few nervous.
 

D Mitchell

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Naughton is one of those players built for finals. Last year 2 goals from just over half a game where we barely got it inside 50. Full game, break even in the middle, and let him show the comp just what he can do.
add Dunkley, Wallis, Libba, Macrae, Bont (once bitten, twice shy),B Smith, Cordy. You wouldn't want to be between the last sandwich on the table and any of them. The Club's in good hands.
 

Dazb86

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We need to try emulate whatever the hell Melbourne did.

I'm not that confident. Saints are a bit of a bogey side
 

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RedWhite&Blue

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I just want them to come out fired up and aggressive.
Let the Saints know from the first bounce that they aren't taking a backward step and they won't play like the pussies that got monstered in last year's Elim Final.

Changes from last year's Elim Final:

OUT: Dale, McLean, Hayes, Lloyd, Schache, Suckling, West, Lewis Young

IN: Keath, Bruce, Gardner, Daniel, Williams, Wallis, Liberatore, R Smith


We'll miss McLean but overall that is a heck of an improvement on the cattle we had running out in 2019. Especially the bigger bodies of Keath, Bruce and Gardner. The aggression and physicality that Bruce and Libba bring will also be important. Having an AA player like Daniel helps, as well as Wallis who is having one of his best seasons for the club.

I'm worryingly optimistic, or "quietly confident".
thanks for posting that. Gee wiz that is startling how different we are and how much better we look on paper compared to last year!
Shout out to the excited Doggies fans who started this thread at 12.02am and have already filled a page by 5am. He he he
 
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RedWhite&Blue

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I feel like the Saints have had a much better year than us. This is probably because they have outperformed expectations whereas we have underperformed and end up in the same spot as them. I’m having 2 types of dreams about this game; the first is them getting a on a roll with Butler kicking 4 and we get overrun... but in another dream sequence we come out with a ferocious edge, build a 36 point lead and hold them at bay for the whole game.
So excited for this game!
EveryoneI know including neutrals thinks this game will be the best of the finals.
 

Dogs_R_Us

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We need to kick a score! Two or three goals would be a disgrace but I think both sides are capable of making this a shoot-out. Our finals experience and the lessons learned from last year should give us an advantage. Should...
 

Dazb86

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One thing about playing the Saints they seem to get a shitload of out the back goal against us. Hopefully Bevo has done his homework.
 

ScottyDogg

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I just want them to come out fired up and aggressive.
Let the Saints know from the first bounce that they aren't taking a backward step and they won't play like the pussies that got monstered in last year's Elim Final.

Changes from last year's Elim Final:

OUT: Dale, McLean, Hayes, Lloyd, Schache, Suckling, West, Lewis Young

IN: Keath, Bruce, Gardner, Daniel, Williams, Wallis, Liberatore, R Smith


We'll miss McLean but overall that is a heck of an improvement on the cattle we had running out in 2019. Especially the bigger bodies of Keath, Bruce and Gardner. The aggression and physicality that Bruce and Libba bring will also be important. Having an AA player like Daniel helps, as well as Wallis who is having one of his best seasons for the club.

I'm worryingly optimistic, or "quietly confident".
I also think English is a totally different prospect compared to this time last year. Intercepts, kicks goals and damages with his run. He’ll be critical to our fortunes today and going forward.
 

Optimistic Dog

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Oct 11, 2014
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The pressure in the 2 finals so far has gone up heaps. Maybe partly because of the number supporters creating a lot noise, without a home town team to not expect the same crowd noise. We will be ready this extra pressure and anything thrown us this time. I think we will get a quick start and have the saints on the back foot and get this one done.
 

In doG we Trust

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We could not hope to have a better side in. We have timed our form & injuries well. An unchanged team now means Bevo's experimenting all year has found him his preferred line up. Our midfield bats deeper than anyone's so if we don't waste forward opportunities, we should win. Dogs by 31
 
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