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Five talking points: St Kilda v North Melbourne

Highlights: St Kilda v North Melbourne The Saints and Kangaroos clash in round 22

1. Dirty day for Jake
St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle will have a nervous wait ahead of Monday's Match Review Panel findings after being reported twice for striking against North Melbourne. The two separate incidents occurred at quarter-time with Carlisle striking North Melbourne defender Luke McDonald in the throat. A melee broke out with Carlisle once again catching the umpire's eye for a hit on Declan Mountford. It wasn't a good start to the day for Carlisle, who nearly didn't take to the field on Sunday. He hurt his back in the warm up and 10 minutes before the first bounce, underwent a fitness test on the boundary line. He was given the all clear just before the Saints ran through the banner.

 

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2. Riewoldt says goodbye to Etihad Stadium
The Nick Riewoldt farewell tour continued on Sunday at Etihad Stadium with the retiring champion playing his final home game at the venue. In his 183rd and final match at Etihad Stadium, the Saints renamed the traditional Gordon Coventry end, the Riewoldt end, in honour of the former skipper. Fans wore hats and t-shirts emblazoned with "Thanks Rooey" as they paid tribute to the 335-game veteran. His first touch of the game was recognised with a loud cheer and a chorus of "Roo" from Saints fans. Riewoldt had 15 disposals, eight marks and kicked two goals. As he was farewelled from Etihad Stadium for the final time, the crowd stood chanting his name, while players from both sides formed a guard of honour. The emotion of the moment clearly got to the St Kilda champion as he was chaired off the ground by teammates Sam Gilbert and Josh Bruce.

 

3. Young Roo stretchered off
North Melbourne found themselves a man down early in the game, when young defender Daniel Nielson was stretchered off in the opening term. The 21-year-old came off second best in a marking contest when St Kilda forward Josh Bruce's knee accidentally made contact with his head. Play came to a halt for five minutes, as medical staff assessed Nielson and immediately placed a neck brace on him as a precaution. He was eventually carted off the ground by the motorised stretcher and taken down into the rooms. Fortunately, he didn't require further treatment in hospital and at half-time he was sitting up talking to family. Nielson was playing just his seventh AFL game after debuting earlier this year in round 16 against Fremantle.

 

4. Saints faint September hopes alive
St Kilda has kept its very slim finals chances alive after a percentage boosting win over the Kangaroos. The Saints join the Bulldogs, West Coast, and Essendon on 11 wins for the season, with percentage keeping them out of the top eight. After 22 rounds, Essendon is just hanging on to eighth place, but will need to win its final game of the home and away season against Fremantle to secure a finals place. Likewise, the Saints will need to beat Richmond at the MCG next Sunday to give themselves a chance, and then rely on other results to fall their way if they are to feature in September.

 

5. Stage set for No.1 draft pick showdown
The loss on Sunday for North Melbourne leaves them languishing at the bottom of the ladder with a win-loss ratio of 5-16 for the season. The Brisbane Lions have also won just the five games for 2017 meaning next week's battle at the Gabba on Saturday will see the loser claim the wooden spoon, but more importantly the first pick in this year's NAB AFL Draft. At this stage, there is not yet a clear No.1 draft pick, with either Western Jets midfielder Cam Rayner, or Dandenong Stingrays onballer Luke Davies-Uniacke the main contenders to take out the title. One thing is for sure, with two sides playing off for the No.1 pick, tanking talk is sure to rear its ugly head this week.