Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Liam Stocker celebrate St Kilda's win over Richmond at Norwood Oval, in R4, 2024. Getty Images

ST KILDA kicked just one goal in the first half.

But led by skipper Jack Steele and veteran Bradley Hill, the Saints dragged themselves back into the contest against Richmond, running over the Tigers in a stunning third term to win by seven points.

The Tigers pushed all the way to the final siren, a desperate Saints defence touching not just one, but two kicks that went through the big sticks in the final minute of the game to leave the final score at 9.13 (67) to 9.6 (60).


Shai Bolton was at his sublime best throughout the game, kicking four including two sharp efforts from the pocket and a bomb from outside 50 after a high-flying mark. 

TIGERS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats

Along with Dustin Martin, the pair continually pushed up the ground to both create an outnumber and – for the most part, successfully – lose their opponents, as the Tigers kicked four goals to nil in the first term.


St Kilda star Jack Sinclair – donning the candy-striped long sleeves – started in the middle but was moved to half-back to provide some support and calmness for the under-the-pump defence, and the Saints began to slowly work their way back into general play.

They stemmed the onslaught, but that opening goal continued to elude them until there was just 30 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Jack Higgins kicking truly from a set shot after a rare quick play further afield.


St Kilda started the third term full of running, Hill causing some havoc forward of centre while the team trapped the ball in its attacking half, denying Richmond its manic and messy pushes forward that had featured in the first two quarters.

Instead of continually bombing it to Max King (or Toby Nankervis making himself at home 15m from St Kilda's goal), the Saints lowered their eyes, attacking in waves as the likes of Tim Membrey, Mitch Owens and a hard-running Higgins hit the scoreboard, the latter sending the footy into an unsuspecting Adelaidean's backyard.


It resulted in a 30-point turnaround, the Saints taking an eight-point lead into the final term driven from a string of wins in the middle of the ground and gaining ascendancy in the contested battle as Steele – his side's best for the day with 33 disposals – asserted himself on the game.

The week off to fully shake off a corked calf seemed to do Martin the world of good, recording 20 disposals and five marks in the first half and finishing with 30.

King's marking prowess stood out, just too tall and strong for Tylar Young. His set-shot kicking let him down, but he pulled off his toughest attempt of the day, snapping truly from the boundary as the Saints edged in front for the first time in the game during the third term.


Thomson Dow suffered a right ankle injury halfway through the first term, rolling it outwards as he tried to drive away from a centre bounce. He appeared to have run it off after several trips to the bench, but was eventually subbed off.

Hill received treatment for a bad cut to the shin in the fourth term, while Tiger debutant Kane McAuliffe started as the sub, then once injected into the game spent more time on the bench due to a tweaked ankle. Coach Adem Yze confirmed he returned for the final minutes of the game.


Saints' rebound win
St Kilda was disappointed in its final term against Essendon last week, coach Ross Lyon acknowledging the natural inconsistency of his younger players following a strong opening few games. But the kids stood up in the contest this week. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera had 27 disposals, while Darcy Wilson had some really big moments late in the final term in defence, knocking the ball clear and laying a crunching tackle on Tyler Sonsie as he looked to stream towards goal in the final few minutes.


Richmond's unconventional forward line
Richmond had one traditional key forward – Jacob Koschitzke – for the entirety of the match after last week's injuries to Tom Lynch and Noah Balta. The Tigers were incredibly dangerous at ground level, with Bolton, Martin, Mykelti Lefau and Maurice Rioli providing the pace, but the taller Saints defenders in Cal Wilkie and Zaine Cordy dominated the aerial battle – Wilkie well and truly outplaying Koschitzke – and the Tigers were missing the chop-out mark down the line that Lynch and Balta provide. 


Norwood's unique challenges
A favourite of Adelaide locals and traditionally used for SANFL/W and AFLW, Norwood Oval's straight and narrow wings resulted in a fairly contested game. Players had less time to make decisions when moving the footy, confronted with opponents occupying every spare inch of territory. Life was also more difficult for forwards at both ends, given they were less likely to receive pin-point deliveries from their rushed midfielders. More than a few balls sailed several rows back on the wing, an occupational hazard of shifting to a narrower ground.


RICHMOND     4.1     5.3     7.3      9.6 (60)
ST KILDA         0.4     1.5     7.11    9.13 (67)

Richmond: Bolton 4, M.Rioli 2, Lefau, Koschitzke, Sonsie
St Kilda: Higgins 2, Membrey, Wilson, Caminiti, King, Owens, Marshall, Bonner

Richmond: Bolton, Martin, Nankervis, Taranto, Vlastuin
St Kilda: Steele, Hill, Wilkie, Sinclair, Wanganeen-Milera

Richmond: Dow (ankle), McAuliffe (ankle)
St Kilda: Nil

Richmond: Kane McAuliffe (replaced Thomson Dow in the third quarter)
St Kilda: Angus Hastie (replaced Zak Jones in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 9,425 at Norwood Oval