After a slow start to the 2012 season the Saints hosted Sydney at Docklands in a must win match. In Scott Watters first year in the coaches seat, this was an early litmus test of their chances to extend their consecutive years playing finals to a fifth post season.
After absorbing early pressure, Jack Steven got on the end of a Stephen Milne pass to kick the first goal of the afternoon. The Swans answered quickly through Sam Reid and Jude Bolton. Then both teams got locked in an arm-wrestle. When Josh Kennedy broke the stalemate, the Saints were at risk of losing touch.
With the quarter deep into time one, the home team dragged themselves back into the contest. Jason Blake kicked his first for the season with an incredible set shot then when Nick Dal Santo added another three minutes later the margin was back to three points.
The second quarter couldn’t have started any better for the Saints, with Jack Steven on the spot to soccer through his second after a taking advantage of a Brendon Goddard free kick. Nick Riewoldt had his first minutes later and the margin was out to double figures. Kieran Jack got one back for the Swans but could not stop the onslaught. Jamie Cripps, Nick Riewoldt, and Ahmed Saad all kicking majors to extend the margin to 21-points at half time.
Three goals to Stephen Milne was the highlight of the third quarter as the Saints continued on their merry way. Arryn Sipposs, Nick Dal Santo, and Ahmed Saad the other scorers as they outscored the Swans six goals to three for the term. The margin extending to a game-high 50 points at the 24th-minute mark.
Leigh Montagna and Terry Milera added two more in the final term. But the Swans would add some respectability to the scoreboard with four goals to two. A comfortable afternoon ending with the Saints 28-points in front. Against the eventual premier, it would be a fitting result for Lenny Hayes in his 250th game. The 32-year-old was a driving factor in the result. His 27-disposals also seeing him earn the two Brownlow Medal votes behind David Armitage who earned the three, and ahead of Leigh Montagna with one.