- Aug 17, 2015
- AFL Club
- St Kilda
- Other Teams
- Philadelphia Eagles Liverpool
St.Kilda v Adelaide
St.Kilda bolted to the top of the AFL ladder on Saturday night with a barnstorming 40 point victory over top four fancies Melbourne to record their 2018-equaling fourth win of the year.
As for the Crows, they got back onto the winners list and celebrated champion small forward Eddie Betts' 300th game in style, with a convincing 73 point thrashing of the much improved Suns.
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, Ben Paton
C: Ben Long, Sebastian Ross, Jack Newnes
HF: Jack Billings, Josh Bruce, Dean Kent
F: Jack Lonie, Tim Membrey, Jade Gresham
Foll: Rowan Marshall, Jack Steele, Jack Sinclair
I/C: Jack Steven, Blake Acres, Hunter Clark, Matthew Parker
Adelaide Best 22
B: Alex Keath, Daniel Talia, Kyle Hartigan
HB: Brodie Smith, Rory Laird, Jake Kelly
C: David Mackay, Matt Crouch, Rory Atkins
HF: Riley Knight, Tom Lynch, Bryce Gibbs
F: Elliott Himmelberg, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts
Foll: Reilly O'Brien, Rory Sloane, Brad Crouch
I/C: Hugh Greenwood, Cameron Ellis-Yolmen, Lachlan Murphy, Josh Jenkins
For the Saints, Ben Long copped a knock to his left thigh in the second quarter and later returned with strapping but showed little sign of discomfort in the third term when he nailed a shot from the arc on the run. Skipper Jarryn Geary played out the game with internal bleeding from a cork in his thigh which later required surgery to relieve pressure in the muscle. Geary will miss several weeks with the injury.
As for the Crows, Wayne Milera hurt the AC joint in his left shoulder after a collision with Suns defender Pearce Hanley in the second quarter. Milera didn't play any further part in the game.
St.Kilda continue their ultra-impressive start to 2019, this time accounting for a listless Melbourne to shoot up to the top echelon's of the AFL ladder. It was a close contest during the first half, St.Kilda opening up a small lead but Melbourne came back strong in the second quarter, only for the Saints to hit back with a few goals of their own and entire the half time break ahead by 15 points. However it was all Melbourne could muster, with St.Kilda piling on eight unanswered goals to put the game to bed and run out 40 point winners with a goal to Jack Billings on the final siren, rubber stamping St.Kilda's ascendancy into the top four and finishing the round in second place for the first time since 2010.
It was a complete team effort on Saturday afternoon, so nobody really stood out from the rest, but Jack Billings put in another solid outing with 28 disposals, 7 marks and 2 goals. Dean Kent had his best game in the Red, White & Black against his former side, with the small forward ending the night kicking 3 goals to go along with 20 touches and 7 marks, and Tim Membrey bobbed up all game long, finishing with 4 majors from 8 marks (4 contested), 12 disposals and 4 tackles to be voted as best on ground.
Other notable performances included Shane Savage (27 disposals, 7 marks), Seb Ross (27 touches, 4 marks, 6 tackles) and Jack Steele (20 disposals, 4 marks, 8 tackles).
There's been many huge improvements to Alan Richardson's side this year, but a main feature of the Saints play in 2019 has undoubtedly been their pressure around the contest, and it wasn't made any more evident by this passage of play in the fourth quarter. When you could've easily given St.Kilda a pass to shut up shop considering the game was all but over, the Saints brought it time and time again.
After losses to Hawthorn, Geelong and North Melbourne, Adelaide were looking to get back on the winners list and get their season back on track as they played host to Gold Coast in what really was a must win game.
Eddie Betts celebrated his 300th game (Brodie Smith also notched up game 150) and he didn't disappoint - the livewire small forward booting 6 goals to end the night adjudged best on ground in a display that we've been quite accustomed to over Betts' 15 seasons in the league. It was the first time the three-time All Australian had kicked six in a game since the Crows' win over Essendon in round four, 2017. And it wouldn't be a typical Betts performance without goals like these;
In a match where there was only one goal registered in the first quarter, the Crows blew the Suns away in the next three, at one point putting through eight unanswered goals to regain some of the form that had been lost on them over the last fortnight.
As mentioned, Eddie was superb with 6.3 from 14 touches. Rory Sloane continues his dominance in the midfield, ending with 32 possessions, 7 marks, and 6 tackles. Crouch brothers Brad & Matt had 36 disposals apiece, and Brodie Smith in his 150th game had 27 and 2 goals. It almost certainly was Adelaide's best performance of the season.
With Ben Paton likely to take Jarryn Geary's spot in the side, young midfielder Hunter Clark could make his return to the senior side for the first time since Round 4, after collecting 29 disposals to go along with 5 tackles, 5 marks and a goal in Sandringham's 24 point win over Williamstown in the VFL on the weekend.
Other notable inclusions could be Nick Hind, Daniel McKenzie and Luke Dunstan.
With St.Kilda skipper Jarryn Geary missing this Saturday's game, the Saints will turn to Ben Paton and the rest of the defense to stop Eddie's influence on the contest. Betts loves playing against the Saints, and with 6 goals last weekend against the Suns, he is in superb form. It'll be a long night if St.Kilda can't manage to stop his influence in front of the sticks.
Adelaide's midfield is very impressive, and you can't tag everybody, but I think that if the Saints are to win on Saturday it will have a lot to do with the influence of Rory Sloane. Arguably the Crows best midfielder, if Sloane has a day out you can bet Adelaide are a good chance of winning the game. I would suspect Jack Steele (who has done the job on Sloane in the past) will be the match-up.
It is good to finally see the Saints listed by the bookies as favourites for this game. I think if this were played in Adelaide it may be a lot different, given how Adelaide have now seemingly got back to some of their better form after bad losses to Geelong and North Melbourne in the last fortnight. However the Saints are one of the surprises of the season so far. Many predicted St.Kilda to finish in the bottom four but after five rounds they are equal first and have been impressive in the last fortnight - winning a tough game against Hawthorn who were top four last year, and then backing that up with a convincing win against Melbourne a week later - a team that just made a preliminary final.
I'd expect the Saints to continue their hot run of form, especially on a deck they love playing on at Marvel Stadium. I wouldn't have tipped them to beat Adelaide at the start of the year, as many wouldn't have, but there's a definite change at Moorabbin, and it looks sustainable. We haven't beaten the Crows since 2011, but I think that changes on Saturday afternoon.
Saints by 17 points.