Jack Steele is staying level-headed despite a win over West Coast on the road lifting spirits out on the track, with Gold Coast on the Saturday night stage next up the agenda.

The Saints returned to RSEA Park today for the first time since landing back in Victoria as a chance to build upon last week beckons come Round 13.

Although still chasing a finished product in terms of gameplay and consistency, Steele was pleased at his side’s noticeable improvement in the west which brought in some long-awaited reward - in the form of premiership points - for their efforts.


“We’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible. We’ve got (this) week to worry about now and still a little bit to review of the game on the weekend, but it was nice to get a little bit of reward for effort,” Steele said at this afternoon’s press conference at RSEA Park.

“There were definitely improvements in all parts of our game. The midfield certainly got to work, but I think really the overall consistent four-quarter effort was what gave us so much opportunity and really kept us in the game.

“There were times when we were down by four goals, but we were pretty unwavering with that effort which eventually got us back in the fight, so that was the pleasing thing for me.”

A key player in the Saints’ fight out west was trade recruit Paddy Dow, who in his third match in club colours served as both the punch inside and polish by hand to finish with a game-high nine clearances and 22 touches.

After finishing the game himself with 15 tackles and 17 disposals after not touching the ball in the opening term, Steele was complimentary of his new midfield counterpart after bone bruising to his knee brought an early season call-up to a halt. 

“It’s very well deserving of Paddy. He’s been a pleasure to play with,” Steele said.

“He’s a great kid and he showed some good signs early in the pre-season before he had that niggly knee injury.

I always knew and always had faith in him that he’d come in and have a real impact, so I think we’re just seeing the start of him.

- Jack Steele on Paddy Dow

It’s the age-old mantra of “one week at a time” for Steele and the Saints as they steam towards Saturday night’s match against Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium.

The ledger currently sits at 4-8 with matches against the Suns and Lions (at the Gabba) to come before the mid-season bye, however the Saints will have a clean run home with eight of their last nine games at the Docklands after a top-heavy travel itinerary to begin the year.

But Steele isn’t looking too far down the track as the Suns, coming off an impressive win over Essendon last Sunday, fast approach and remain in the hunt for their first win of the year away from home.

“We’re just trying to work ourselves out for now. We’ve had a pretty inconsistent year so far and we haven’t had a whole heap of form and been able to string together good games of footy,” Steele said.

“We know that Gold Coast are going really well this season, they’ve played some really good footy and they’ve got some stars that are really starting to shine through.

“We know it’s going to be a fair challenge, but we’re really looking forward to it. In the back half of the year we play quite a lot of footy at Marvel Stadium, so we’re really looking forward to that.”