Main content

Five talking points: West Coast v St Kilda

Highlights: West Coast v St Kilda The Eagles and Saints clash in round eight

1. Kennedy's five-goal quarter
Last year's Coleman medallist had not kicked five goals in a game since round one against the Brisbane Lions. He kicked five-straight goals in a blistering opening term against the Saints. Everything fell his way and his fifth goal quite literally fell in his lap. Shane Savage kicked it directly to him in the back pocket and Kennedy kicked the simplest of goals as a result. It wasn't his best quarter as far as goals are concerned. He kicked six goals in a quarter against Carlton in round two last season. He finished with 10 that night, but he did not kick a goal after quarter-time against the Saints.   

Game breaker: Kennedy's five-goal first term keys win


2. The Saints set new unwanted records at Subi
St Kilda had lost its last six matches at Domain Stadium coming into Sunday's clash. The Saints' last win at the venue came when Ross Lyon was coach. They didn't help their cause with a horror first half against the Eagles. They conceded the first nine goals of the match before finally answering with a major late in the first term through Jack Steven. But it was their only goal for the half. Despite numerous chances in the second term, they kicked six-straight behinds. It was only the second time in the club's history the Saints have kicked just one goal in the first half at Domain Stadium. They only just bettered their worst half at the venue, 1.4 (10) against Fremantle in round 13, 2000, and 3.11 (29) was their lowest score at Domain Stadium, eclipsing the 4.6 (30) set in round 23 last year.   

Full match coverage and stats

3. Slippery when wet
The Saints have not left the comforts of Etihad Stadium in the last three weeks and undoubtedly would not have changed their footwear for the game at Domain Stadium given the sun was shining when they ran out for the warm-up. But there were a couple of light showers in the first half and suddenly the ground became like an ice rink. Players slipped over regularly and simple skills such as chest marks and bouncing the ball became difficult tasks. Eagle Will Schofield highlighted the unwillingness to adjust to the conditions when a long run down the outer wing came unstuck when an attempted bounce failed to come back to him.

The deliberate rule still needs tweaking
The new interpretations of the deliberate rule have been a hit so far this season but two separate incidents in this game highlighted the need to continue to review it. Eric Mackenzie soccered the ball through the Eagles' defensive goal from 25m out for a rushed behind. It was deemed fair by the umpires due to the pressure that was around him. Yet Josh Bruce fumbled a slippery ball over the boundary line inside the Saints' attacking 50m arc and was penalized for deliberate. Both incidents looked strange and prove the rule still needs tweaking.   


5. Yeo's yo-yo year continues
Elliot Yeo's form has mirrored that of his team's. He has played seven matches this season. He has had 20-plus disposals in four of them and sub-20 disposals in three. Unsurprisingly, the 20-plus games have come at home and sub-20 have come on the road. He is an important utility in the Eagles' side, capable of playing a number of roles. He roamed half-forward with confidence on Sunday, gathering 20 touches, four marks and a goal. The Eagles would love him to bridge the gap between his home and away form.