Back in 1976 the Saints faced the prospect of entering Round 8 against the unbeaten top-of-the-ladder team on a cold wet day.

It is a scenario that this week has a familiar ring to it.

Before this match, Carlton had won all seven games and had a percentage of 152. They were the dominant team of the year by a long way. St Kilda had experienced a fluctuating start with three wins and four losses. The Saints went into the game without star players Trevor Barker (injured), Glenn Elliott (suspended) and Barry Breen (injured)

On top of that, Carlton had “the wood” on St Kilda with 18 wins from the previous 20 encounters stretching back to 1966.

So pronounced was the Carlton ascendancy in that era that Steve Theodore remembers in one season the Saints players decided to back themselves each week, but when it came to the Carlton game there were only two Saints who wanted to place the bet “All the rest said let’s divvy up the pool!”

Theodore was rated one of St Kilda’s best mud-runners and reckons that growing up at Irrewillipe in the Western District equipped him well.

"The wet weather suited me. The ball bounced straight," he said.

'Tubby' Lawrence came from Tassie and so did John Bonney so they were used to the wet weather. Gary Lofts was from Beaufort and had grown up on wet grounds.

- Steve Theodore

In a match played in horrendous conditions, Carlton’s speed and skill was nullified as St Kilda’s hardness at the ball showed out as they turned from battlers to wet weather specialists.

The star of the day was oddly enough a West Australian who had been brought up on the hard grounds of Perth. In conditions that did not suit goal kicking, ex-West Australian George Young booted seven in a best on ground performance and proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The Saints in their element in the wet.

From the outset, St Kilda appeared fiercer at the contest and more willing to put their body on the line, while Carlton seemed to want to play their free-flowing style of football which was not suited to the conditions. 

On this day in 1976, the Saints came out with all guns blazing at Waverley. 

St Kilda showed the rest of the competition how to beat Carlton, while the Blues needed to re-assess their style of play in wet conditions.

ST KILDA  3.5  7.7  11.12  15.14 (104)
CARLTON  1.5  3.6  8.10  9.12 (66)

St Kilda:
Young, Callery, Lofts, Perovic, Mildenhall, Besanko, Bonney
Carlton: Jones, Doull, Walls, Whitnall, Heath, Keogh



Bill Mildenhall Barry Lawrence Carl Ditterich


Neil Besanko Robert Elliott Russell Greene


Robert Muir Colin Carter Val Perovic


Gary Lofts Rex Hunt Steve Theodore


John Bonney George Young Kevin Neale


Jeff Sarau Gary Colling  


Paul Callery    
RES Wayne Judson Phil Stevens