It is always said that teams visiting Adelaide or Perth need to get away to a big start to silence the crowd.
But visitors never get a good start handed to them on a platter in the way Port handed it to the Saints in 2011.
Port defender Jackson Trengove tried to rough up Nick Riewoldt before the opening bounce and the Saints skipper calmly goaled from the resultant free kick.
Joey Montagna quickly followed with another as St Kilda had a dream start with two goals on the board inside 35 seconds. It was the start that set up a 56 point victory – the last time that St Kilda beat Port in Adelaide.
Coming into the game both sides were trying to turn around disappointing seasons. The previous year’s Grand Finalist St Kilda was sitting in 12th place and Port was second last in 16th spot.
Riewoldt had experienced an unusually inconsistent season, but thanks to the kick-start offered by Trengove he ran back into form with four goals.
Former Geelong man Ryan Gamble also chimed in with four and St Kilda was never seriously troubled as it disposed of the ailing Port Adelaide team.
The Saints’ big names such as Nick Dal Santo, Riewoldt and Brendon Goddard made strong and positive contributions for the full four quarters and their efforts were underscored by the productive running of Jack Steven and Brett Peake.
Dal Santo’s perfect blend of contested disposals and possession in the open made him St Kilda’s best.
St Kilda was able to constantly fire the ball into its attacking 50-metre zone but in contrast Port was unable to cohesively supply its forwards. The Saints' central dominance emanated from a powerful ruck display by Ben McEvoy.
In an otherwise pedestrian game, the sparks flew with a couple of heated melees and wrestling sessions. Goddard, who had a strong 27-possession game, was involved in one tangle which spilled over the fence near the interchange bench.
Nine years later, the only players remaining at their clubs from that game are Port’s Robbie Gray, Travis Boak and Hamish Hartlett and our 2020 skipper Jarryn Geary.
For the Saints it kept the finals hopes flickering and was part of a six wins in eight matches sequence that earned a finals berth. In contrast, Port sacked their coach Matt Primus after one more game and plummeted to bottom place with only one more win for the year.
Port’s dismal season was reflected in the crowd for the Saints game with only 16,887 people sprinkled around the ground.
PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 4.2 4.4 8.5 (53)
ST KILDA 4.2 9.3 12.6 17.7 (109)
Port Adelaide: Rodan 2, Hitchcock 2, Stewart, Gray, Pearce, Broadbent
St Kilda: Riewoldt 4, Gamble 4, Milne 3, Dal Santo 2, Schneider, Goddard, Steven, Montagna
Port Adelaide: Hartlett, Gray, Logan , Thomas
St Kilda: Dal Santo, Steven, Riewoldt, Goddard, McEvoy, Gamble