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In stark contrast to the warm weather last weekend, it was a cool overcast day in Moorabbin at RSEA Park. The Saints won the toss and were quick to take the ball forward with Nat Exon kicking the first goal for the Saints, marking uncontested 25 meters out from goal at the South Road end. Chiocchi was injured when tackled one armed by Ashmore and injured her knee, she would not return to the game and the club would be concerned about how much of the season the veteran might miss.  

Hawthorn were able to work the ball into the breeze with pace, and Ashmore was looking increasingly dangerous but her shot at goal into the breeze went out of bounds on the full. She found Fellows with her next kick inside 50 and she goalled from 25 meters out on a slight angle at the Linton St end. Vesely kicked the second for the Saints getting on the end of the handball under pressure and snapped the ball to the goal square, where it bounced through, and Tyanna Smith added another on the run to give the Saints a solid lead.

The Hawks had their chances and should have converted, but a shot late in the quarter from Bodie from 40 meters out was off hands for a behind and when she marked a minute later this time just 15 meters out, the ball dropped awkwardly and the kick into the breeze went wide. On the strength of accurate kicking the Saints, they led by ten points at quarter time. 

Tilly Lucas-Rodd handle balls under pressure
Tilly Lucas-Rodd (file Densham/AFANA)

The Saints started the second quarter strong with Smith getting a quick ball to the goal square where Friend received the free kick as the Hawthorn defenders desperately tried to spoil. The Saints quickly added another as the Hawthorn defenders took too much time trying to find a way out of the backline, and a big tackle saw the ball spill out to Exon who squirted a dribbling kick through the goals for her second of the day. Tilly Lucas-Rodd roved a ball up in the Hawks forward 50 and but their kick went wide for a behind. Now it was St Kilda who could not clear their defensive 50, and Gilroy was paid a tackle and kicked the goal from 30 meters out from goal straight in front.  

St Kilda continued to attack their goal square with limited opportunities forward and Exon went into the pocket with a long kick and a favorable bounce put the ball in front of Lambert, who was able to stumble onto the ball and get a kick at goal from less than a meter out for the maximum score. More inaccurate kicking for the Hawks would leave them short by 19 points at half time as Fellows running at goal and then Lucas-Rodd roving the pack both sprayed their kicks to the left for minor scores.  

Chiocci tackled by Stevens
Chiocci tackled (file Densham/AFANA)

St Kilda started the third quarter a high with Alice Burke kicking her first goal for the club where her father made his footballing name. The first scoreboard blemish came as Stevens had the ball smothered off the boot as she shot for goal under pressure. Minutes later Friend kicked across the face of the goal from the side pocket for another behind. Which was fortunate for the Hawks as the 27 point deficit at three quarters time could have been much larger.  

With the aid of the breeze the Hawks sent the ball straight into their forward line and Stratton roved the throw in from their forward pocket and snapped her first goal for the Hawks across her body. Lucas-Rodd again had a shot at goal and their kick was just wide once again for another behind from a stoppage. McDonagh, the Hawks full forward, was finally able to take a mark on the lead and kick the goal from the set shot to reduce the deficit to 14 points. McDonagh backed this up again as the forward target this time used her body to protect the space and mark to kick her second for the quarter and reduce the margin to 8 points with around 5 minutes to play. 

But it was Stevens marking on the wing for the Saints, the awarded a 50 meter penalty and kicked long to Wardlaw who had been playing loose in the backline just a minute before. Her kick went left (maybe due to fatigue) but ate up enough time to ensure a St Kilda win by nine points. The third AFLW win in a row for the Saints.  

Good kicking and fantastic pressure by St Kilda all over the ground really gave them a big advantage over Hawthorn, and a huge number of smothers and tackles laid showed the Saints greater will to win on the day.  

ST KILDA:  3.0 6.0 7.2 7.3 (45)
HAWTHORN:  1.2 2.5 2.5 5.6 (36)

St Kilda: Exon 2, Friend, Burke, Lambert, Vesely, Smith
Hawthorn: McDonagh 2, Fellows, Stratton, Gilroy

St Kilda: Lambert, Exon, Vesely, Smith, Patrikios
Hawthorn: Bates, Lucas-Rodd, Stratton, Fleming, Baskaran 

St Kilda: Chiocci (knee)
Hawthorn: Nil

Crowd: 2,812 at RSEA Park

Article last changed on Sunday, October 08, 2023 - 8:30 AM EDT


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