Despite a promising first half, the Saints eventually succumbed to Collingwood by 28-points in their Round Nine clash at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. In a night where an off-season trade target kicked six against them, a man better known for being a defender kicked four for them, two brothers played on each other and the second generation of the Rice family pulled on the Red, White & Black, what did we Learn, Like and Dislike?
JACK NEWNES IS DEADLY FROM NEAR THE ARC
In a season where St Kilda have butchered opportunity after opportunity in front of goal, there was something fitting in the fact that a man better known for running off half-back popped up to to be their best option against Collingwood. Jack Newnes, who entered the game with 33 goals from 121 games, would have seemed an unlikely spearhead but that is exactly what he became with four goals on Saturday night. Only time will tell if he can consistently provide a goal kicking option but the Saints could do worse than continue the experiment of Newnes playing forward in the weeks ahead.
THERE’S A REASON THE SAINTS ARE KEEN ON DE GOEY
In recent weeks it has been reported that the Saints had their eyes on the talented De Goey in the off-season trade period and after his performance on Saturday night, you can understand why. The 22-year-old destroyed St Kilda with a six-goal performance that played a major role in his team’s 28-point victory. It was a timely reminder to both his vocal suitor of just what he could bring to a club in need of an injection of polish and class.
PHILLIPS FAMILY REUNION
In just his second game at AFL level, Ed Phillips was confronted with a familiar face when he lined up against Collingwood at Etihad Stadium – brother Tom. The two Phillips boys then spent much of the night nominally lined up on each other in a not so common opportunity to replicate backyard battles at the top level.
A second-generation Saint makes his debut
Bailey Rice, after a series of strong performances for Sandringham, earned a debut game in red, black and white, against the Pies. Selected under the father-son rule back in 2015, he followed in the footsteps of his father Dean, who wore the tri-colours with distinction in 116 games. The Saints haven’t had much luck in creating family dynasties, but after a solid 17-disposal first-up performance perhaps that might be about to change.
SAINTS BLINK AND MISS THEIR CHANCE
When Jack Sinclair kicked a behind in the early stages of the third quarter, the Saints lead had been extended to eight points. With the momentum heavily in their favour after four consecutive goals, the match seemed to be theirs for the taking after working their way into the ascendancy after a tight arm-wrestle. Yet less than ten minutes later, having conceded four consecutive goals the moment was lost.
A microcosm of the season was to follow in the Saints attempts to stem the withering Magpie surge. A promising attacking movement ended when Jack Steven, one of the best on the night, sprayed a gettable chance. From the resulting kick-in, Collingwood moved the ball from end to end and kicked a goal that felt like a hammer blow. Until they find a way to properly profit from their opportunities they will continue to let slip games like this one that was a genuine opportunity to claim a much-needed victory.
ROYAL WEDDING INTERRUPTS REGULAR PROGRAMMING
It might have come as a surprise to many footy fans when they sat down on Saturday night to watch the Saints and Pies do battle on Channel Seven and instead find some wedding telecast on the AFL’s Broadcast Partner instead. If this wasn’t bad enough, there were large numbers of fans in the Robert Harvey who chose to watch the happenings from Windsor Castle instead of those on the Etihad Stadium turf in front of them.