It seemed that drama followed St Kilda whenever they travelled to Launceston in the early years of the 21st century. Both of the club’s visits in 2006 involved kicks after the siren, but where the problem in round five against Fremantle was that the siren wasn’t heard, for Daniel Motlop hearing the siren was a problem in round 16.
That either St Kilda or Port Adelaide could still win the match when the final siren sounded would have seemed fanciful when they were separated by 26-points at the half time break. A withering opening burst, during which two Nick Riewoldt goals bookended singles to Fraser Gehrig and Stephen Milne, saw the Saints take an early stranglehold on the match. After Riewoldt’s second opened the second quarter, it was goal for goal until the long break with Robert Harvey and Gehrig answering Daniel Motlop and Josh Mahoney.
The third quarter was a different story altogether with Gehrig kicking a third against a Power surge that saw them close within seven points at the last change. With the scene set for a gripping final stanza, Jason Blake gave his team some breathing room to start the quarter. The balance of the match was a tense arm-wrestle. Kane Cornes drew the Power within two goals at the midway point before Brett Ebert put both supporter bases on the edge of their seats with two minutes to play.
Ebert and Cornes would be prominent in the game’s final possession chain as they drove their team toward goal after the former won a turnover on the half back flank. It appeared to be a game winning surge when a hurried Brad Symes kick was marked spectacularly by Daniel Motlop. When the siren sounded as the 24-year-old prepared to take his kick, he had the opportunity to live out a childhood dream. An involuntary shudder as heard the siren was the first sign that the dream was more nightmare than sweet. With 16,588 holding their breath, Motlop surrendered his chance to steal the game at the death with his stabbed kick lucky to score a behind when a goal was required.
After another drama filled afternoon in northern Tasmania, Saints fans could finally exhale, their team were winners by four points.