An exhilarating first half had expectations high of a big round one victory before a second-half fade-out saw four premiership points slip through our grasp. Despite the heartbreaking result, there were still a great number of moments to savour and here are our Top Five Magic Moments of Round One.
5. Jack Steele
Jack Steele opened the Saints 2020 Goal scoring account in the first quarter against North Melbourne. Despite being better known for his work around the ball, the 24-year-old took advantage of his brief stay at full-forward with a strong mark and set-shot-goal. The lead-up work is what especially makes this goal a magic moment. The slick chain of handpasses between Seb Ross, Ben Long, Jarryn Geary and Jack Billings to release Luke Dunstan was a joy to watch. Unlike the Saints of old who handpassed the ball only to transfer the pressure and responsibility to somebody else, this was a deliberate and effective path through the danger.
4. Dougal Howard
In his first game for the club, Dougal Howard made Tarryn Thomas regret his decision to travel to Marvel Stadium. With the ball in dispute, Howard executed a perfect bump on the young North forward. Not content with rattling Thomas’ bones, Howard laid a text book tackle on Jy Simpkin with a determined second effort.
3. Hill to Membrey
Tim Membrey’s goal came on the back end of a beautiful, some might say ‘delicious’, piece of work from Brad Hill. The former Docker, eased through traffic in the centre square and delivered the Sherrin lace out to the leading Membrey. Lost in the beauty of Hill’s work, was the quality of the lead from the Saints 2019 Leading Goalkicker, who created and used space perfectly to latch on the pill.
2. Max King
On debut and wearing the number 12 made famous by Nick Riewoldt, Max King kicked the Saints second goal from a free-kick. On the receiving end of considerable attention from the Kangaroos defenders, the lifelong St Kilda fan almost had a fairytale finish to his first game in the red, black, and white with his second goal retaking the lead for the team late in the contest.
1. Ben Long
It was a case of equal parts exhilaration and concern after Ben Long intercepted Jamie Macmillan’s kick in from fullback. Using Jy Simpkin as a step ladder the athletic halfback took a spectacular mark before landing awkwardly and rolling his ankle. Thankfully, after treatment, he was able to return to the action and have an impact in the second half of the match.