Two weeks away from the winners list was long enough for Peta Searle's Saints.
After a dead-even opening stanza, St Kilda pulled away to victory off the back of a scintillating third quarter, with a series of influential plays and standout performances culminating in an emphatic triumph at home.
Here are the moments, players and actions that stood tall under the Friday night lights.
Sharp skills and electric pace have already proven a successful recipe for Tyanna Smith, who just four games into her AFLW career, is starting to construct a dynamic and match-shaping brand of footy.
But another element of the yet-to-be Rising Star nominee’s game – which is fast moving up the ranks in terms of impact – is her tackling pressure and ferocity in the contest.
Smith capped off her sizzling evening at RSEA Park with a club-record 13 tackles, 11 of which came in the second half.
The slight midfielder’s uncompromising mentality at the coalface stood tall on multiple occasions, with an extra 16 touches (eight contested), eight score involvements and 303 metres gained adding to her stellar outing.
Hannah Priest and Rosie Dillon (nine) previously held St Kilda’s AFLW record for the most tackles in a match.
Coming home with a wet sail
It was a match of two halves, so the old cliché goes, and the Saints found themselves coming home with a wet sail following a deadlocked first half.
Despite some positive ball movement – albeit with no scoreboard reward – in the second term, Peta Searle’s side quickly clicked into gear after the main break with an unanswered 3.6 (24) to open up the floodgates.
Kate Shierlaw was the first the join the party with a brilliant snap (and celebration) on the run, before Isabella Shannon and Caitlin Greiser chimed in to keep St Kilda’s momentum rolling.
The Saints notched up 13 inside-50s to the Cats’ three in the third quarter, with the constant peppering of the scoreboard assuring their second victory of the 2021 season.
Three for the G
You can’t keep the G-Train down for long.
After being well-held last weekend against the Blues, Caitlin Greiser returned in style to bag three of the Saints’ seven majors.
The reigning AFLW leading goalkicker opened her side’s scoring account with a major for the third time this season, before capitalising with another two in the second half.
Greiser was kept in check by Geelong’s Meghan McDonald in the opening term, but persisted through the tough match-up – and a finger injury – to come out on top as the match wore on.
The No. 17 had an opportunity to slot a fourth courtesy of some selfless play from Tyanna Smith, but it was Kate McCarthy who eventually pounced to close out the Saints' evening.
As of Friday night, G-Train now sits one goal behind Brisbane’s Dakota Davidson in this year’s AFLW goalkicking tally.
Watt a season she’s having
That sub-heading really says it all, doesn’t it?
Fresh off a shutdown job in defence on Carlton’s Tayla Harris, Rhi Watt reverted back to her usual ruck role to piece together arguably her strongest performance in St Kilda colours.
Watt was a prevailing force in the Saints’ engine room, again leading from the front with 16 disposals (11 contested), 13 hit-outs, five clearances and two contested grabs to carve a path to victory.
The co-captain’s ascendancy in the ruck duel against Aasta O’Connor willed St Kilda to a 23-17 advantage in clearances, along with a 17-10 lead from stoppages.
There’s still over half a season to go, but judging off her past four games, you'd have to say Watt would be an early favourite for the Saints’ 2021 Best & Fairest.
Smalls pack their punch
While Rhi Watt was clunking marks and Caitlin Greiser and Kate Shierlaw were snapping super snags, St Kilda’s industrious smalls were just as hard at work.
Tilly Lucas-Rodd was the pick of the bunch on Friday night, with her assured outing across half-back yielding a game-high 19 touches, six intercepts and five marks.
The gritty defender found time to float towards the midfield throughout, but it was again Rosie Dillon who was landing blow after blow in-and-under packs.
Dillon backed up her best-on-ground performance from last weekend with another 17 touches (eight contested) and five tackes (three inside-50), and was again well flanked by hard-hitting duo Nat Exon and Claudia Whitfort.