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Saints storm home to snatch first AFL draw

By Roger Vaughan,

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    St Kilda have kicked the last three goals against GWS for the first draw of the AFL season.

    Jake Carlisle could not take a mark for the Saints with seconds left on Saturday at Etihad Stadium.

    GWS co-captain Phil Davis was able to spoil Carlisle and that left the Saints on 10.13 (73) to the Giants’ 9.19 (73).

    Saints fans were ropeable that Carlisle was not paid a free kick, but he was disappointed in himself for not taking the grab.

    “I just feel like I should have marked it,” Carlisle told Fox Footy.

    It was a scrappy game under the Etihad Stadium roof until the last 10 minutes, when the Saints roared home thanks to goals from Maverick Weller, Ben Long and Paddy McCartin.

    Jade Gresham kicked a behind with two minutes left to tie the scores.

    The ball was then locked in the Giants’ forward line, but the Saints were able to burst clear and Carlisle almost marked Jack Stevens’ pass.

    Only 14,956 fans were at the game, after three disappointing St Kilda losses.

    But the Saints’ fans saw a much more-determined effort and a more-polished team would have beaten the Giants.

    St Kilda won the tackle count 76-63 and had 76 inside 50s to 63, but they struggled in attack despite McCartin’s encouraging three-goal haul.

    It is the first time the No.1 draft pick has kicked three goals in a match.

    The Saints lost Jack Newnes with concussion in the first term. GWS ruckman Dawson Simpson will be under video scrutiny for their clash that put the Saints’ wingman out of the game.

    The Giants led by five points at the first change, but two goals from McCartin put St Kilda ahead.

    Luke Dunstan’s stunning left-foot goal from the boundary – Lance Franklin would have been proud of it – gave the Saints a 10-point lead 19 minutes in the second term.

    The Giants regained the lead thanks to Brett Deledio’s quality snap early in the third quarter.

    There were few highlights in the third term, but goals to Toby Greene and Dylan Shiel gave GWS a nine-point lead at the last change.

    When Jonathon Patton goaled early in the last quarter, the Giants had a 15-point break and the game was as good as over.

    After three more Giants behinds, the Saints made their unlikely late charge to almost snatch the win.

    Steven and Deledio starred with 29 disposals apiece.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 6:47am
      Brad said | April 22nd 2018 @ 6:47am | ! Report

      St kilda were better, yes, but also team selection, more by necessity, was much better. We had 6 changes from our loss to NM and that will in turn now cause problems as to who is in our best 22. This has been St Kilda’s issue for years where we chopped and changed like yo-yo’s and ultimately delisting players who were once regulars.

      Out from NM: Roberton, Armitage, Stevens, Bruce, Longer, Webster.
      In for GWS: Gilbert, Dunstan, White, Coffield, Hickey, Weller.

      The thing that will ultimately decide St Kilda season is form and who is in the 22 on a consistent basis but this is also the same for all 18 clubs

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 1:28pm
        christy olsen said | April 22nd 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        Roberton and Webster are hurt. When they are right, they’ll play again.

    • Roar Guru

      April 22nd 2018 @ 12:04pm
      Paul Dawson said | April 22nd 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

      14,000 at Etihad? That’s approaching Brisbane crowds

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