- Aug 17, 2015
- AFL Club
- St Kilda
- Other Teams
- Philadelphia Eagles Liverpool
Melbourne v St.Kilda
St.Kilda overcame a 26 point third quarter deficit to overrun the Hawks in front of 36,000 fans at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
As for the Demons, they broke their run of poor form in a solid outing in Sydney last Thursday night, beating the Swans by a comfortable 22 points.
Let’s have a look at possible best 22s:
St.Kilda Best 22
B: Jimmy Webster, Nathan Brown, Shane Savage
HB: Callum Wilkie, Josh Battle, Jarryn Geary
C: Jack Sinclair, Sebastian Ross, Jack Newnes
HF: Jack Billings, Josh Bruce, Matthew Parker
F: Jack Lonie, Tim Membrey, Ben Long
Foll: Rowan Marshall, Jack Steele, Jade Gresham
I/C: Blake Acres, Hunter Clark, Nick Hind, Daniel McKenzie
Melbourne Best 22
B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Marty Hore
HB: Billy Stretch, Sam Frost, Nathan Jones
C: Jayden Hunt, Clayton Oliver, Christian Salem
HF: Bayley Fritsch, Braydon Preuss, Angus Brayshaw
F: Charlie Spargo, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham
Foll: Max Gawn, Christian Petracca, Jack Viney
I/C: James Harmes, Sam Weideman, Corey Wagner, Josh Wagner
For the Saints, tough defender Daniel McKenzie was concussed in the second term and was ruled out of the contest. Speedy forward Matthew Parker went into the rooms in the second term to have a leg issue looked at but he came back on to the field.
As for the Demons, It was a game filled with big – but fair – hits that left several players heading to the bench to recover. Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw hit the turf hard and needed assistance, but both played out the game. Big man Braydon Preuss had a knock to his shoulder but also returned. Coach Simon Goodwin said Oscar McDonald suffered a concussion while late withdrawals Neville Jetta and Jay Lockhart are expected to be right for this week.
St.Kilda have been one of the surprises so far this year, having beaten Gold Coast, Essendon and Hawthorn on their way to 3 wins - putting them in 5th spot at the end of Round 4 - only percentage off top spot. A resurgence from players like Jack Billings and Jade Gresham, and cameo performances from fan favourites Callum Wilkie & Matthew Parker has the Saints in a good position after the first month.
After trailing by as much as 26 points midway through the third term, the Saints found another gear, clawing their way back into the contest and taking the lead with less than 5 minutes to go from a Jack Lonie goal. It was a nail biting final few minutes, but the Saints found a way to hold on and continue their impressive start.
Once again the usual likes of Jack Billings & Seb Ross stood out for the home side, finishing with 34 and 39 disposals respectively. Ross, the stand-in skipper for the injured Jarryn Geary on the day, had one of his best performances for the Saints and was a deserved best on ground.
Other notable performances included Jack Lonie (17 disposals, 5 tackles, 3 goals), Jack Steele (27 disposals, 7 tackles), Blake Acres (26 disposals, 7 marks, 1 goal) and Rowan Marshall (17 dispoals, 28 hit-outs and a goal).
And a special mention to first year player Callum Wilkie, who once again had a great performance for the Saints in defense, with 21 disposals but more importantly defensive efforts like these;
After losses to Port Adelaide, Geelong and Essendon, Melbourne were looking to get back on the winners list and get their season back on track as they flew to Sydney to face the Swans in what really was a must win clash for last years preliminary finalists.
They didn't disappoint, and after being challenged early the Demons kicked away to record their first win of the season, a hard earned 22 point victory which lifts them from the bottom of the ladder after four rounds.
Max Gawn & Clayton Oliver were tremendous again for the visitors. Gawn finishing the game with 19 disposals, 5 marks and a whopping 55 hit-outs to be adjudged the Demons best on ground. Oliver was instrumental in the middle as well, ending the night with 33 disposals and 7 marks.
Nick Hind once again staked his claim for an AFL debut after continuing his excellent form in the VFL - the speedy half back finished with 39 disposals and a goal for his best outing of the year.
Other notable inclusions could be champion on-baller Jack Steven who is dealing with issues outside of football and hopefully will be able to come back into the side.
After 55 hit-outs in Round 3, Max Gawn is clearly one player the Saints will need to keep an eye on on Saturday afternoon. Rowan Marshall has been in terrific form lately, and it must be said he did a good job to quell Hawthorn ruckman Ben McEvoy's influence, but this is a much bigger test for Marshall - Gawn is arguably the best ruckman in the game. If Preuss plays as well, like he did last weekend, it will make Rowan's job that much more difficult. If Marshall can nullify the influence from the middle the Saints will have a much better chance at coming away with the chocolates.
St.Kilda's midfield brigade has been one of the positives in a strong start to the year, however players like Clayton Oliver always pose a threat. One would expect Jack Steele to take either Viney or Oliver. Oliver had 33 possessions on the weekend and was one of Melbourne's best, so you'd think Steele would be given the tagging role on the Demons star midfielder.
Not unlike last weekend, this one will be a really close contest. Melbourne haven't started the year the way they would've liked but nobody can dismiss the talent they have on their list and you only need to look at last year to see how much they have improved as a side. Sure, they haven't started well, but they were back to it last Thursday night and looked like the Melbourne we expected coming into the year.
St.Kilda have surprised many, and if they had kicked straighter against Fremantle they would be a game clear on top of the ladder after four rounds. It's been a remarkable effort by Alan Richardson's men, and I'm sure the playing group will be hell-bent on continuing their great form.
As for a tip? Again, very hard to predict, however given the form line of both sides, and the fact we beat Melbourne last time we played them at the MCG (I must say too that our record at the MCG is quite good) I think the Saints will continue their strong start to the year and just get over the line in this one. I don't underestimate the Demons at all, I think they are a very strong side, but we match-up well with them and we are playing some really good football at the moment.
Saints by 8 points.