The fans have spoken, and as voted by you, Jack Steele is the Round 13 Dare Iced Coffee Sainter of the Round.
It was another big tick in Steele’s tremendous 2020 campaign, amassing a brilliant 25 disposals (17 contested), 10 tackles, seven score involvements and a goal in the narrow two-point loss to Brisbane.
The frontrunner for the Trevor Barker Award racked up 18 of his touches by half-time, forcing Brownlow favourite Lachie Neale to move onto his midfield counterpart for the rest of the game.
His ferocity and physicality never wavered despite the added attention, with his workhorse-like efforts through swarms of Saints and Lions (12 ground-ball gets) allowing him to feed the Sherrin out to his side’s outside runners, drive it forward himself (six inside-50s) or wrap up his opponents in a crunching embrace.
Steele’s goal – a left-foot snap around the body – in the twilight stages of the third quarter kicked off St Kilda’s spirited charge towards a come-from-behind win.
The No. 9 racked up half of his tackles in the final term, but even combined with Jack Billings and Jack Sinclair’s massive final quarters to almost edge the red, white and black over the line, the four points ultimately fell in favour of Brisbane.
Steele now sits a near-unassailable eight votes clear on the Sainter of the Round leaderboard after registering his fourth maximum-vote outing.
Two votes go to Tim Membrey, who battled brilliantly up forward to intensify the Saints’ pressure in the offensive end.
Skunk clunked five marks and a goal to go alongside his nine touches, but it was his determined tackling that stood out from the pack.
Five of his eight tackles – a career-best – were racked up during his third-quarter purple patch, while four of St Kilda’s 11 inside-50 tackles were a product of Membrey’s desperation.
Rounding out this week’s voting is Zak Jones, who once again served as the Saints’ midfield combustion engine to propel himself right behind Steele with 23 possessions.
Jones’ day looked done in the opening seconds of the match after falling victim to a head-rattling Mitch Robinson bump, but moments later was right back in the thick of the action.
St Kilda will play its first game in the Northern Territory for Premiership points this Saturday against Melbourne at TIO Traeger Park.