Main content

Saints fall to Kangaroos

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JULY 07:  The Saints leave the field after losing  the round 16 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Blundstone Arena on July 07, 2019 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
St Kilda fell to North Melbourne by 39 points at Blundstone Arena in Tasmania on Sunday.

North Melbourne's early blitz and five-goal bags from Cam Zurhaar and Nick Larkey has propelled the Kangaroos to an impressive 39-point win over St Kilda in Hobart on Sunday.

The young Kangaroo forwards added five between them in a seven-goal opening term that saw the home side out to a 40-point lead at the first change, which effectively sealed St Kilda's fate in front of 10,696 fans at Blundstone Arena.

While the Roos had plenty of options up forward, Josh Bruce was forced to play a lone hand for the Saints, kicking six goals in a strong performance.

 

In a one-sided first quarter, North helped itself to seven majors and was able to score freely from St Kilda turnovers – as well as a degree of ill-discipline in the Saints' defence.

Zurhaar, who kicked three in the opening quarter, was able to complete the rare feat of booting his second and third without the ball going back to the centre square when he benefitted from a free kick awarded against Jake Carlisle for abusing an umpire.

Veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein was also instrumental in North's fast start, winning six hitouts to advantage to none, and giving the likes of Jy Simpkin (36 disposals and nine clearances) a chance to dominate around the packs and lock the ball in the Kangaroos' forward half for long periods.

North's lead stretched to 46 points when Larkey kicked his third early in the second quarter and it looked for all money like St Kilda was in for an absolute shellacking.

But from there, the Saints noticeably upped their intensity around the ground and rattled on the next four goals to tighten things up considerably.

With Bruce marking just about everything that came his way and kicking truly from long range to register four majors to half-time, the Saints made it to the long break 27 points in arrears but seemingly capable of making things uncomfortable for the Roos.

Clever snaps from Rowan Marshall and Jade Gresham within minutes of the restart gave Saints fans even more reason to believe, but North responded with the next three goals to ensure it would have plenty of breathing room with a 32-point lead at the final change.

In his 100th game, Jack Billings was outstanding for the Saints, helping himself to 35 touches while Jack Steele was equally impressive through the middle and racked up 18 tackles.

 

MEDICAL ROOM

North Melbourne: Mason Wood battled with a quad complaint for much of the second half and was off the ground on several occasions for treatment.

St Kilda: Josh Battle limped from the field just a few minutes into the first quarter with an adductor complaint and played no further part in the game.

NEXT UP

The Roos will square off against Marvel Stadium co-tenants Essendon in a Saturday afternoon fixture that looms as an 'eight-pointer' with both sides chasing wins to sneak into finals contention during the run home. St Kilda hits the road to GMHBA Stadium where it will be rank outsiders against the table-topping Cats on Saturday night.

NORTH MELBOURNE    7.5   10.6    13.7    17.10 (112)
ST KILDA                       1.1   6.3   8.5   11.7 (73)

 

GOALS
North Melbourne: 
Zurhaar 5, Larkey 5, Brown 3, Ziebell 2, Simpkin, Ahern
St Kilda: Bruce 6, Membrey 2, Hind, Marshall, Gresham

BEST 
North Melbourne: 
Simpkin, Zurhaar, Goldstein, Larkey, Ziebell, Tarrant

St Kilda: Bruce, Billings, Dunstan, Steele, Marshall 

INJURIES 
North Melbourne: 
Wood (quad)
St Kilda: Battle (adductor)

 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Foot, Gavine, Hay

Official crowd: 10,696 at Blundstone Arena