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Gritty Saints fall short

The Eagles have overcome a battered and bruised Saints outfit to claim a 18-point victory at Marvel Stadium. - St Kilda Saints,West Coast Eagles
The Eagles have overcome a battered and bruised Saints outfit to claim a 18-point victory at Marvel Stadium.

The Eagles have overcome a battered and bruised Saints outfit to claim a 12.16 (88) to 10.10 (70) win.

While the Saints were brave, sticking with their highly touted opponents for the best part of three quarters and refusing to lie down at any stage, they were eventually overwhelmed.

But while it was far from perfect for Adam Simpson's side, there were signs of the West Coast the footy public has come to know and expect over the last 18 months.

Having lost two of its last three matches going into the weekend, West Coast's 18-point win over an injury-depleted St Kilda did little to quell any concerns over an unconvincing and inconsistent month of footy.

Its midfield was prolific – Andrew Gaff, Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo and Liam Duggan all won more than 20 disposals to overpower a vastly improved St Kilda onball group.

Now 4-4 on the season and with a lengthy injury list, St Kilda would have to defy expectations throughout the remainder of the year to keep its finals hopes alive.

Both sides had gone into the night facing more questions than answers. Perhaps fittingly, then, they played out a first half flush with effort but littered with mistakes.

West Coast had threatened to claim the ascendency, but each time the visitors edged clear they were just as quickly pegged back by a St Kilda side sensing its opportunity.

A 20-point lead struck early in the second quarter was reduced to just seven at the main break. An 18-point lead created early in the third was quickly trimmed back to six.

 

The only thing missing was the Saints kicking on to claim an advantage of their own.

Therefore, when West Coast again pushed clear – led by successive Kennedy goals on the stroke of three-quarter time – it appeared St Kilda's resolve was finally broken.

While the Saints kicked the last four goals to trim the lead to 12, it was too little too late.

MEDICAL ROOM

St Kilda: The Saints finally got through unscathed. Jade Gresham copped a nasty blow to his hip midway through the third quarter, but soldiered on and played out the game.

West Coast: Jeremy McGovern came from the field due to a blood rule in the second quarter, having sustained a cut above his eye, but he played out the match.

NEXT UP

St Kilda heads to the MCG to take on Collingwood next Saturday afternoon, while West Coast returns home to face Melbourne at Optus Stadium on Friday night.

ST KILDA       2.1   4.5   6.8   10.10 (70)
WEST COAST  3.3   5.6  11.8  12.16 (88)

GOALS
St Kilda:
Kent 2, Billings 2, Bruce, Gresham, Sinclair, Savage, Membrey, Steele
West Coast:
Kennedy 2, Petruccelle 2, Allen 2, Cripps 2, Venables, Ryan, Sheed, Darling

BEST

St Kilda: Dunstan, Bruce, Ross, Battle, Billings, Gresham, Savage
West Coast:
Hurn, Cripps, Yeo, Sheed, Shuey, Gaff, Ryan

INJURIES

St Kilda: Nil
West Coast:
Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Nicholls, Glouftsis

Official crowd: 24,246 at Marvel Stadium