A controversial interchange penalty against Hawthorn could well be responsible for denying the Hawks victory against St Kilda. Cyril Rioli had just kicked a goal with two minutes remaining in the final term to give Hawthorn a 13 point lead. However, the goal was disallowed due to Hawk Grant Birchall briefly putting a foot across the interchange line before a teammate had come off the ground. The emergency umpire signaled the infringement to the field umpire who then awarded a 50 meter penalty to the Saints.
Over the last few seasons St Kilda has been a team that you could bank on to win just about every game they played. This season, with the loss of their key goal kicker Nick Riewoldt, they have been shaky, losing three out of eight games. The West Coast Eagles have not fared much better but they were coming off two wins in a row and playing at their home ground in front of 38,000 faithful fans. The bookmakers had the game evenly balanced and there was an air of belief in Perth that the Eagles could knock the Saints down a peg or two.