How could St Kilda’s win at Geelong in 1999 be put into perspective?

Ken Whiffin – a beloved figure at the club who had seen the full roller-coaster of the Saints’ performances for more than three decades as runner for the premiership team, and then veteran trainer, put it best.

That’s the best win I’ve seen by a St Kilda side — Grand Final included.

- Ken Whiffin

Certainly everything was against the Saints pulling off a victory. They trailed by 19 points at three-quarter-time and were kicking into a four-goal wind that was gathering strength. If that wasn’t enough, Geelong’s David Mensch kicked a goal 30 seconds into the last term.

St Kilda refused to accept what seemed inevitable as Andrew Thompson, Jason Traianidis and Ben Walton helped fuel a mighty last quarter.

And then, of course, there was Robert Harvey. The Brownlow Medallist had looked, in coach Tim Watson’s words, “like death warmed up” at half-time after being crunched by Garry Hocking.

As one reporter observed, Harvey could have been rugged up in a tracksuit on the bench after the heavy knock he received, perhaps even have been in hospital getting his ribs checked out.

The crunching blow delivered to him by Garry Hocking just before the half-time siren triggered a melee in which Saints players converged from all over the ground.

Saints and Cats collide after Robert Harvey is felled. Photo: AFL Photos.

Then early in the third term he copped a heavy blow to his troubled shoulder. He staggered and doubled over, looking certain to collapse before heading to the forward line where he had a rare quarter of notching no possessions.

But then the unstoppable engine that always drove him spluttered to life again and he galvanised St Kilda into action. Seven minutes in, the ball landed in his hands and he produced a trademark double sidestep and guided through a goal. Teammates rushed to congratulate him, but were wary not to slap his pummelled body.

In his autobiography, Harves wrote: “I felt like it was a bit of a cheap shot and, but it’s part of the game and  it didn’t do anything permanent”.

The pair shook hands after the game, but the normally quiet Harvey expressed his disappointment in Hocking’s actions.  

For much of the second and third terms St Kilda looked to be heading for a loss as Hocking, Peter Riccardi and the mobile John Barnes had grabbed the initiative.

But in the final term it was all St Kilda with big Peter Everitt controlling midfield. Tony Brown’s goal cut the gap to a point and then Everitt outmarked Ben Graham in the goalsquare to goal and give his team the lead.

Youngster Walton then chimed in with St Kilda’s sixth unanswered major to seal the game.

Tony Brown, a Geelong local boy, remembers the satisfaction of that day.

“Harves was our best player and one who dragged us along with his actions every week,” he said.

Tony remembers walking into the rooms at the end of the game and hearing coach Tim Watson’s variation of the old saying “winners are grinners” and adding a colourful phrase about what losers could do.

Wins down there were the most satisfying of my career because all my boofhead Geelong mates were Cats supporters so I had great pleasure in giving them a cheeky wave or sending a text message afterwards.

- Tony Brown

“My brother and my cousin were standing at Kardinia Park and after I kicked a goal they were carrying on in amongst hundreds of Geelong supporters who were staring at them.”  

GEELONG  5.3  12.7  15.8  16.12 (108)
ST KILDA  6.2  8.4  12.7  18.10 (118

Thompson, Harvey, Hall, Everitt, Loewe, Burke, Hudghton

Hall 4, Thompson 2Walton 2, Everitt 2, Mitchell 2, Loewe 2, Jones, Brown, McLaren, Harvey



Max Hudghton

Darryl Wakelin

Damien Ryan


Justin Peckett

Tim Elliott

Matthew Young


Jason Traianidis

Nathan Burke

Joe McLaren


Daniel Healy

Stewart Loewe

Andrew Thompson


Gavin Mitcheell

Jason Heatley

Barry Hall


Peter Everitt

Robert Harvey

Nathan Burke


Tony Francis



INT Tony Brown Matthew Carr Austinn Jones
  Lenny Hayes