Darcy Wilson celebrates a goal for St Kilda against North Melbourne in R8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

JIMMY Webster and Mason Wood have made successful returns after long layoffs as St Kilda snapped a three-game losing streak with a 38-point victory over winless North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.

The Kangaroos started well and never dropped their heads but the Saints always had the match in their keeping after halftime, going on to win 15.13 (103) to 10.5 (65).

SAINTS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

Young gun Darcy Wilson put in a compelling bid for yet another Rising Star nomination, picking up 21 disposals and booting three goals.

The bottom-placed Kangaroos made a bright start to the game, booting three successive goals midway through the opening term to gain an early 12-point advantage.

The third of those goals came when St Kilda defender Webster's kick across goal was intercepted by North Melbourne youngster Tom Powell.


Webster predictably earned the opprobrium of the Kangaroos fans, having been suspended for seven weeks for a late, high shot on North co-captain Jy Simpkin in a pre-season game. Simpkin was the first Kangaroo to get in Webster's face on Saturday after the error.

The Saints then wrested control of the game, kicking six successive goals either side of the quarter-time break, a run finally broken late in the second term by Kangaroos forward Cam Zurhaar.

Small forward Paul Curtis kicked the first goal of the third term to trim the margin to 21 points, but the Kangaroos never got closer than that as the likes of Jack Sinclair, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and and Marcus Windhager kept the Saints in control.


Playing his first game since breaking his collarbone in round two, former Kangaroo Wood made a solid return while Jack Hayes also impressed in his first game of the season.

North Melbourne's better players included young guns George Wardlaw, Colby McKercher and Harry Sheezel (who played predominantly in midfield), while fullback Aidan Corr comprehensively won his battle with St Kilda spearhead Max King.

The Saints improved their win-loss record to 3-5 ahead of a round-nine clash against Hawthorn in Launceston.

The Roos' next match is against Gold Coast in Darwin.


Webster-Simpkin battle resumes
Returning after a seven-game ban, Jimmy Webster was always going to cop plenty of heat from North fans after his huge bump on Roos co-captain Jy Simpkin in the pre-season. But Webster gave the Roos supporters - and Simpkin - an extra reason to get in his face early with a wild and risky kick from the back pocket that landed in the lap of Tom Powell, who slotted an easy goal. Simpkin was the first player to rush towards the Saints defender to make his point, although Webster was a solid contributor across the four quarters and came away with what matters most - the four points.


Luckless Saint has his moment
Jack Hayes has had a torrid run with injury, but he's back to full fitness and made a massive impact on Saturday. The response of his teammates to his first quarter goal says a lot about his torrid AFL journey so far and the 28-year-old was one of his club's best on the day. The versatile tall gives the Saints plenty of flexibility up forward and in the ruck and if he can stay fit, the likes of Mitch Owens, Max King and Rowan Marshall should all benefit.


North veteran in strife
The Roos' issues may well be compounded by the absence of Liam Shiels next week, with the veteran landing a high bump on young Saint Angus Hastie in the first quarter. Shiel went past the ball and got Hastie high, but the fact Hastie was able to play on should work in the Roos' favour (Hastie was subbed off in the third term as a tactical move). North has enough issues without losing one of its experienced players, and Shiels will have a nervous wait over the next 24 hours as he waits for the Match Review Officer's finding.


ST KILDA    4.2  8.6  12.8  15.13 (103)
NORTH MELBOURNE   3.2  4.2  7.4  10.5 (65)

St Kilda: Wilson 3, Sinclair 2, Hill 2, Hayes 2, Wood, Ross, Membrey, King, Hastie, Marshall
North Melbourne: Zurhaar 3, Larkey 2, Curtis 2, Wardlaw, Simpkin, Powell

ST KILDA: Wilson, Sinclair, Howard, Hayes, Wanganeen-Milera, Windhager, Hill
NORTH MELBOURNE: Wardlaw, Xerri, Sheezel, McKercher, Fisher


ST KILDA: Ryan Byrnes (replaced Angus Hastie in the third quarter)
NORTH MELBOURNE: Toby Pink (replaced Riley Hardeman in the third quarter)

Crowd: 27,009 at Marvel Stadium