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VFLW: Hawks snatch victory from spirited Saints

The Southern Saints couldn't find a finishing blow against a fast-finishing Hawthorn outfit. - St Kilda Saints,AFLW
The Southern Saints couldn't find a finishing blow against a fast-finishing Hawthorn outfit.
We actually played a better brand of footy, and for the most part, I thought we were the better side.
Peta Searle

The Southern Saints were unable to withstand a final-quarter fightback from Hawthorn, losing by 9 points at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Saints dominated play for the majority of the game, keeping the Hawks goalless in the first half and kicking a few of their own.

But they fell at the final hurdle, with the Hawks kicking three unanswered goals in the fourth term to steal the lead and win the game.

Kayla Ripari and Alison Brown continued their impressive form, while stand-in captain Rhiannon Watt’s dominance in the ruck gave the Saints the advantage through the middle.

The Saints opened their account early, with a goal from Ash Allsopp sailing through within the first three minutes.

Danni Lawrence backed it up a few minutes later, capitalising on the Saints’ poise and positioning inside 50.

The Saints ramped up the pressure and intensity in the second quarter, finally receiving reward for effort in the 12th minute, courtesy of a goal from pocket rocket Ripari.


Kayla Ripari has been a standout for the Southern Saints in 2018.

The tide turned early in the third quarter, with a reinvigorated Hawthorn outfit hitting the scoreboard within the first minute of play.

Another goal followed, before Tara Bohanna converted a set shot from 35m out to put the Saints back in front.

But the Hawks capitalised on their momentum in the final term, piling on three goals to claw back the lead and snatch the win.

Head coach Peta Searle gathered the playing group after the game in a closed-door discussion following the disappointing result.

“The message was one of mixed emotions,” she said post-match.

“I was proud because they actually played really good footy, but disappointed that at times, when there was a ball to be won at the contest, not all of us could do it consistently enough.”

READ: VFLW Preview v Hawks

Searle lamented the loss but praised the Saints’ effort.

“We actually played a better brand of footy, and for the most part, I thought we were the better side,” she said.

“We worked hard defensively, we worked hard in contest, but at the end of the day, when it was time to be won, a few more of their players were braver than ours.”

The Saints head to Henry Turner Memorial Reserve in Footscray on Sunday to take on the Western Bulldogs.