Dan Butler during the round 13 match between St Kilda and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on June 8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA has beaten Gold Coast by three points in controversial circumstances to condemn the finals-chasing Suns to their sixth defeat on the road from as many attempts.

With Gold Coast leading by three points at Marvel Stadium, young Suns defender Mac Andrew was penalised for an off-the-ball hold on Saints spearhead Max King as the pair jostled close to goal.

SAINTS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

With less than three minutes to go, much to Andrew's dismay, King converted from near point-blank range and St Kilda held on for a 7.9 (51) to 7.6 (48) win in front of 17,992 fans on Saturday night.

It spared St Kilda's blushes, mere minutes after Suns skipper Touk Miller escaped Marcus Windhager's tag to give the visitors the lead for the first time after the Saints had dominated much of the game without reward.


Damien Hardwick's Suns (7-6) had the opportunity to cement themselves in the top eight - and sit outside the top four on percentage alone - with a victory, but they will instead drop out of the eight by the round's end.

Ross Lyon's St Kilda (5-8) sits 14th, two wins outside the finals places.


For the Saints, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (28 disposals) and Jack Sinclair (31 touches) were classy, while Rowan Marshall (24 hitouts, seven clearances) and Jack Steele (20 touches, six clearances) got to work on the inside.

Sam Collins worked hard in defence all game for the Suns, while Sam Flanders (42 disposals) continued his prolific form off half-back and Noah Anderson (29 touches) fought hard.

St Kilda's Dan Butler kicked two goals in the opening term and three for the game.


Butler's first came in controversial fashion after Andrew was penalised for shoving him off the ball, with the small forward going down easily then converting.

It helped the Saints to a 12-point lead at the first change.

But St Kilda suffered an early blow, with defender Dougal Howard forced off with a hamstring injury and replaced by veteran Seb Ross.

Across the second and third quarters, the Saints failed to make their dominance count and led by just eight points at the final change.

Talented young Suns defender Bodhi Uwland took a terrific flying contested mark over Max King early in the final term, then stopped a would-be goal with a fingertip smother.

The Suns kept pressing and finally hit the front for the first time when Miller swooped on a Ned Moyle tap-down and snapped truly.

But King's late goal left the Suns to rue what might have been.


Windhager does it again
Just when taggers seemed to be a thing of the past Marcus Windhager has resurrected the art. Last week he moved onto Harley Reid after the 19-year-old dominated the first half, and on Saturday he got the role on Suns ball magnet Touk Miller. The Suns' co-captain had 28 disposals in Gold Coast's win against Essendon last round, just above his 2024 average of 27 touches, but Windhager went to Miller at the first bounce and stayed with him all night, keeping him to 14 disposals for the match. Unfortunately for the young Saint, one of Miller's few touches included the fourth-quarter goal that put the Suns in front, but it all ended well.


Only one King gets the King's birthday gift
With the Suns three points ahead and just minutes on the clock, the ball was in Saints' hands in the middle of the ground when a whistle blew. A holding free was paid against Mac Andrew at the top of the St Kilda goalsquare with Max King the recipient, the big full-forward slotting the goal and snatching back the lead for his side. But 60 seconds later his brother had a chance to return the favour after marking 50 metres out, near the boundary. Unfortunately for Ben and the Suns, his shot fell short and was cleared with a second chance not presenting itself. 

Dan Butler, Max King and Liam Henry during the round 13 match between St Kilda and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, June 8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Suns will want to get around big Mac
Mac Andrew's stature in the game has risen astronomically this season and he had another impressive outing on Saturday night, but a couple of free kicks that bookended the match will leave him in a world of hurt and confusion. St Kilda's first goal came from a free kick to Dan Butler who went to ground from an Andrew push in the chest. And it would have to be said Butler went to ground very easily. Worse for Andrew though was the off-the-ball free kick that handed Max King the matchwinner. On a day of umpiring decisions that saw late goals kicked in all three games, this may not have been the most controversial, but it moved the ball from the middle of the ground to 15 metres out straight in front of goal. After the game coach Damien Hardwick said of the penalty "It was clearly, in my view, a free kick that was unwarranted."

Dan Butler and Mac Andrew clash during the round 13 match between St Kilda and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, June 8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA         3.1    4.5    6.7    7.9 (51)
   1.1    2.3    5.5    7.6 (48)

St Kilda: Butler 3, Higgins 2, King 2
Gold Coast: King 2, Rowell, Ainsworth, Long, Swallow, Miller

St Kilda: Battle, Sinclair, Marshall, Wanganeen-Milera, Higgins
Gold Coast: Collins, Flanders, Long, Jeffrey, Uwland

St Kilda: Dougal Howard (hamstring)
Gold Coast: TBC

St Kilda: Seb Ross, replaced Dougal Howard in the first quarter
Gold Coast: David Swallow, replaced Brayden Fiorini in the third quarter

Crowd: 17,992 at Marvel Stadium