AFL: St Kilda holds off a fast-finishing Collingwood to keep finals hopes alive

St Kilda’s unlikely bid for finals footy this year has a pulse after they survived a major final-quarter scare against Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday.

After only managing three goals in the opening three quarters, and falling 49 points behind, the Magpies’ woke up in spectacular fashion to kick the final six majors of the game to trim the margin to eight points.

But Collingwood left their run too late, and the Saints held on for a nine-point win after being the better side for the majority of the day.

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The Saints’ joy was the Pies’ pain.Source:Supplied

A third-quarter blast from St Kilda ultimately proved decisive against a Collingwood team that cut a dispirited unit before the final term.

After a scrappy, uninspiring but tight first half, which saw the Magpies restricted to just 1.5.11 – their lowest halftime score against the Saints since Round 15, 1963 (1.1.7) – the Saints did as they pleased in the third period, cracking the contest wide open with six goals to two. The Magpies barely gave a yelp and played like a side whose season had lost all meaning with a caretaker coach at the helm.

At one point St Kilda kicked seven goals in a row with the Magpies having to wait 93 minutes to kick their second goal.

Collingwood gave up the fight in the third term – their resistance evaporated and they weren’t prepared to take the game on as much as the Saints did on the open expanses of the MCG. St Kilda continued to dominate the territory with double the Pies’ inside 50s (18-9). But Harvey’s men turned things around dramatically in the final term to give the Saints a decent fright.

All of a sudden, Max King and the Saints are half a game and percentage out of the eight. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

St Kilda are now just half a game, and plenty of percentage, outside the top eight with seven games to go. Granted, their run home features meetings with top-eight sides Brisbane (away), Port Adelaide, West Coast (away), Sydney and Geelong (away), but where there’s life, there’s hope.

Encouragingly for the Saints, Brad Hill’s speed really stood out in the contested style of game. The maligned big-money recruit’s previous season high was 27 disposals, and he already had 14 at quarter-time, before finishing with 30 touches and 689 metres gained.

Jack Steele and Scott Pendlebury were among their respective side’s best players. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Jack Steele already had 11 tackles in the first half, and looked on track to break the record of 19. He would end up with 14 and continued his standout season for Saints with another influential performance which also included 36 disposals (14 contested), eight clearances, three goal assists, seven score involvements.

Bradley Hill had a day out for the Saints. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Ultimately St Kilda’s superior appetite for the contest, which was apparent mainly in the opening three terms, proved crucial, as they ended up winning the clearances 40-33, tackles 70-59 and contested possessions 142-132.

The Pies have had a horror run at the home of footy. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


For the first time since 1999, Collingwood have lost six games in a row at the MCG. They’ve also lost eight of their last nine at the venue.


A bizarre moment occurred late in the first quarter when Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy took a mark and handballed it away on the Saints’ half-forward flank. The umpire then blew his whistle, prompting Steele Sidebottom to leave the ball on the ground. It allowed the Saints to swoop, and the ensuing chain of possessions ended up with Dan McKenzie kicking a goal.

Brodie Grundy gets aerial for the Pies. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


COLLINGWOOD 1.2 1.5 3.7 8.13 (61)

def by

ST KILDA 3.1 4.5 10.8 10.10 (70)


Magpies: Mihocek 2, Elliott, De Goey, Daicos, Thomas, Hoskin-Elliott, Cox

Saints: Membrey 2, King 2, Ryder 2, McKenzie, Higgins, Marshall, Butler.


Magpies: Adams, De Goey, Pendlebury, Crisp, Mayne, Quaynor

Saints: Steele, Hill, Membrey, Dunstan, Marshall, Howard, McKenzie


3 — J.Steele (StK)

2 — T.Adams (Coll)

1 — B.Hill (StK)


Magpies: Daicos (finger)

Saints: Nil

Umpires: Haussen, Chamberlain, Johanson

Venue: MCG

Originally published asAgony for fast-finishing Pies as Saints’ finals hope alive

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