The Round Nine clash between St Kilda and Sydney in 1991 lived up to pre-game expectations of a thrilling encounter. While the Saints came into the SCG match comfortably within the top six after a record breaking victory over Adelaide and 10 goal mauling of the Bears, the home team were also in the middle of a purple patch. After big wins over Geelong and Fitzroy, the Col Kinnear coached Swans entered the contest confident of a third straight victory.
While the match ultimately lived up to pre-game expectations and , in it’s early stages it looked like anything but the high scoring thriller it would become. Picking up where he left off in his first two games of the season, where he kicked 12 and 10 against Adelaide and Brisbane respectively, Tony Lockett kicked five of the first six goals of the opening quarter to hand his team an early break. Gilbert McAdam would become the Saints second individual goal scorer just before quarter time to see the margin out to 20-points at the first change.
Just when it looked like it would be one way traffic, Jason Love turned the tide for the home team. The 25-year-old kicked back to back goals to begin a run of four goals for the Swans. Dean Rice bobbed up and kicked two goals but when Mark Bayes kicked his third goal of the day, he capped off a seven goal to two run for the Harboursiders. Yet just as the match appeared to be slipping from his team’s grasp, Lockett imposed himself on the contest once more. Two late goals to the burly spearhead giving him seven for the day and locking the scores at the long change.
Two more on the other side of the break had him on the verge of his third successive 10 goal haul and gave the Saints and handy break. Yet it was a completely different match situation when he brought up double figures later in the term, with his 10th goal ending a run of four consecutive Sydney goals. When Greg Williams kicked truly from an unlikely angle, to hand the Swans a 14-point 3/4 Time lead, Plugger’s one man wrecking show looked all in vain.
He was not to be denied though.
His 11th came in response to Stevie Wright’s fourth term opener. His 12th, following singles to Russell Morris and Frank Coghlan, equalled the scores to set up a thrilling conclusion. With the two teams unable to be separated, the deadlock would remain until the game was within it’s final two minutes. While there would be no ‘baker’s dozen’ for Lockett, he would end the day on the winning team. A second goal for the term to Morris proving to be the decisive score in a six point victory for the visitors.