As we catch our breath after the Saints’ amazing turnaround against West Coast, club historian Russell Holmesby turns back the pages to nominate his favourite St Kilda comebacks.
1994 | Plugger sinks the Swans
Even when you watch the video of this game, it is still hard to see how St Kilda managed to get up.
With eight minutes left on the clock in the final term, Sydney were 41 points up and seemingly had the game in the bag. When Dean Greig booted a goal, Ross Glendinning famously observed "it’s all a bit too late."
He didn’t count on Tony Lockett powering the Saints to an amazing victory.
Seventeen kicks, 12 marks and 11 goals in an electric display of awesome power by Plugger, which also included a heavy hit on Peter Caven and a shot for goal which almost decapitated a member of the Swans cheersquad who had been vocal all day.
2015 | Saints storm over Bulldogs in record comeback
Statistically the equal-biggest comeback in club history, St Kilda was 51 points down at half-time before going on too beat the Bulldogs by seven points.
What made it even more meritorious was that the Saints only had two goals on the board at half-time, including a second quarter which yielded only one behind while the Bulldogs added seven goals.
Just before half-time, Bulldog Jake Stringer decided it would be a good idea to confront Nick Riewoldt, which triggered a melee. When Stringer kicked the opening goal of the third quarter to blow out the lead to 55 points, it seemed he would have the last laugh.
But then seven individual goalkickers added to the Saints’ score without reply between the five-minute and 24-minute mark of the quarter, reducing the three-quarter time deficit to 12 points.
Despite a quick surge from the Bulldogs to open the last quarter, the Saints weren’t to be denied and when Tom Hickey gifted his side a one-point lead late in the term.
Jack Billings. who kicked four goals that day, added another shortly after as the Saints ran away with a famous victory.
2021 | Super second-half shakes the Eagles
What more can you say?
Considering the quality of the opposition and the fact St Kilda was coming off such a loss the week before, this has to rank right up there.
1976 | An accidental whack and a great comeback
A comeback based on a misunderstanding.
St Kilda fired up after the smallest Saint, rover Paul Callery had seemingly been knocked out by Hawk bogeyman Don Scott.
Callery was left motionless and at one stage his heart stopped on the field as the quick-thinking doctors cleared his airways and revived him. Up until this stage, the Hawks were on top and had a 30-point lead at half-time.
The incident sparked the Saints into action as they kicked the next nine goals to charge to a 25-point win over the ladder leaders and eventual premiers.
Ironically, it was later discovered that Callery had actually collided with teammate Gary Colling!
Full-back Trevor Barker was a constant thorn in Hawthorn’s side throughout the match and Robert Muir, Peter Bell, Gary Lofts and Jeff Sarau all played as if there was no tomorrow.
1937 | A windy day at Glenferrie
Very few current day Saints fan were there to see it, but whenever you begin the game with a scoreless quarter and the opposition boots 8.7 you know that it is a long, long way back.
The wind was the dominant factor in this game and when it came to St Kilda’s turn in the second quarter they managed 7.12 to go into half-time eight points behind.
The Saints were a bigger and heavier team and with defenders Jack Davis, Ron Wilson and Stan Lloyd proving as the springboard that kept hauling in the Hawks.
Hawthorn only managed three goals with their next use of the breeze in the third term and that was crucial to the result.
St Kilda kept coming hard, but with 15 minutes to go still trailed by 26 points.
The Saints stormed home with five unanswered goals and hit the front in time-on before running out winners by 13 points.