THE ST Kilda juggernaut has continued to gather steam with an emphatic 53-point win over Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday.
SAINTS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats
The Saints were super impressive, withstanding a strong third quarter from the Swans before roaring home with six final-quarter goals to win 15.11 (101) to 6.12 (48).
>> WATCH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
The victory ensures St Kilda will be in the top four after nine rounds, with a trip to Metricon Stadium on Thursday night to play Gold Coast up next.
Everything that has characterised Brett Ratten's team this season was on display, with suffocating pressure, quick ball movement, speed around goals and an even contribution across all lines.
Nick Hind was deadly, kicking three goals, while Max King (three) and Dan Butler (two) were also dangerous.
Zak Jones had a great day against his former club, racking up 21 disposals and taking great joy in his third-quarter goal, while Jack Steele (24) continued his fine season and Jade Gresham (23 and two goals) was also influential.
Rowan Marshall (17 disposals) and Paddy Ryder continued to flourish as a ruck combination.
The Saints led by eight points at quarter-time and 22 at the half, but watched their 30-point cushion in the third dwindle to 14 before putting the foot down.
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Sydney had 15 inside 50s to just seven in the third term, but struggled to bite into the Saints' lead.
Tom McCartin (three goals) was dangerous in the forward line, while Luke Parker (26) was tireless in the midfield.
Will Carlisle get looked at?
Saint Jake Carlisle might get some attention from the Match Review Officer following a third-quarter incident where he targeted the broken hand of Sydney's Dane Rampe. Following a goal by former Swan Zak Jones, Carlisle appeared to swipe at Rampe's injured hand as the two got tangled, bringing even more players into the fracas.
Another weapon for the Saints
Speed in the forward half has characterised the Saints' surge in 2020 and now they can add another name – Nick Hind. Playing just the 15th game of his career and fourth this year, Hind was terrific, kicking three goals from 16 disposals. His left-foot snap at the end of the third quarter quelled any chance the Swans had of coming back. His energy and explosive pace was infectious and complements the play of Dan Butler, Jack Billings and Jade Gresham perfectly.
ROUNDS 9-12 Check out the full fixture
Papley's tough day
Coleman Medal frontrunner Tom Papley had the odds stacked against him from the start, playing just days after a close friend died suddenly. In a pre-match interview, the Swans small forward fought back tears, saying: "To anyone out there, if you're feeling down, put your hand up, people are out there to help." Worn like a glove by Ben Paton, Papley kicked a first-quarter goal but finished with 10 disposals.
ST KILDA 3.3 7.4 9.6 15.11 (101)
SYDNEY 2.1 3.6 5.10 6.12 (48)
St Kilda: Hind 3, King 3, Battle 2, Butler 2, Gresham 2, Geary, Jones, Clark
Sydney: McCartin 3, Florent, Papley, Sinclair
St Kilda: Steele, Gresham, Hind, Jones, Clark, Billings, Paton
Sydney: Parker, Florent, McCartin, Lloyd, Cunningham
St Kilda: Ross (calf) replaced in selected side by Savage