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VFLW: Six straight for Southern Saints

The winning ways of the Southern Saints continue after a dominant victory over Williamstown on Saturday. Watch highlights of the Southern Saints Round 9 win over Williamstown. Presented by Reflex

The Southern Saints have romped away to a 52-point win against Williamstown at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval to make it six wins in a row.

There were multiple star performers as midfield duo Cat Phillips and Alison Drennan got plenty of the ball in the 9.5 (59) to 1.1(7) win, with Drennan back in the team after a couple of weeks out.

Rhinaanon Watt played more time in the ruck this week, easing the load on Poppy Kelly, but the duo set up a formidable partnership throughout the match, both winning multiple hit-outs.

Melissa Kuys also had a day out, showing her skills and silky left foot by reading the play well off half-back to set up some attacking moves.

The forwards were in a league of their own as Caitlin Greiser, Jacqui Vogt and Courtney Munn all kicked two goals each.

Peta Searle’s side was dominant throughout the opening quarter, which saw a four-goal blitz in eight minutes with goals from Kate Shierlaw, Vogt and Sarah Astone.

Shierlaw’s goal in particular was a neat finish after she intercepted an errant Williamstown kick.

She converted from a tight angle roughly 40 metres out to set the tone for the rest of the match.

For most of the opening quarter, Williamstown struggled to get the ball inside their half, with play mainly commencing in the middle part of the ground and in the Saints' forward half.

When Williamstown did find an avenue forward, the Saints' defence were able to intercept and create turnovers through pressure.

A Greiser goal before the first break gave the Saints a 25-point advantage.

Williamstown looked threatening after the first break as they forced to play inside their forward half, but a breakaway run by Melissa Kuys set up a good team goal in which Courtney Munn converted.

 

Williamstown responded when they kicked their only goal of the afternoon on the fifth minute, when Megan Williamson converted a 50-metre penalty.

The Saints went into the main break with a 25-point advantage.

The Saints kept up their attacking pressure and were dominant for most of the third term, but despite their intensity and locking the ball inside their forward 50,  they only had one goal to show for it when Munn kicked her second.

After scoring just one goal in the third term, the Saints quickly took the game beyond doubt early in the fourth as Greiser and Vogt both added their second goals within a minute of each other.

Defender Elizabeth Keaney got herself on the scoresheet at the midway point of the fourth to put the game to bed.

Searle said the opening quarter of the match was one where they capitalise on their chances which helped shape the result. 

“They came out well again in the first quarter which probably set themselves up,” she said.

“Drennan was pretty impressive and she has been out for a couple of weeks, they played some good team football as they shared the ball but didn’t overuse it in the first.”

The Saints turned the pressure on again, forcing turnovers from Williamstown and Searle was specifically pleased with the tackling.

“I thought the tackling was the best it’s been all year,” she said.

“They really have the feel on how to do it now.

“The fact they did it in layers as well was really pleasing, if they didn’t get the first one done they would have a second one coming at them.”

Searle also added praise for Kuys who was one of the standout performers, in only her second game.

“It was good to see what she could do,” she said.

“She was really important for us in our ball use and decisions as she puts people in space with the ball and helps them make better decisions also.

“When it's contested too, she knows how to get it on her boot, she’s a footballer and understands the game.”

After two home games in a row, the Saints will head over the West Gate Bridge to take on Geelong.

“They are starting to put in a few more of their stars,” she said.

“It is a big ground and we will have a few out, but every time we step on the field its a step closer to what we want to achieve going forward.”