WEST COAST 3.2 5.4 8.8 12.11 (83) ST KILDA 1.5 6.6 7.8 8.10 (58)
Goals: West Coast: J Cripps 2 J Kennedy 2 X Ellis 2 C Sinclair D Cox J Darling L Shuey M Brown M Priddis. St Kilda: L Dunstan 2 L Montagna 2 N Riewoldt 2 B Maister E Templeton.
BEST West Coast: Cox, Gaff, Priddis, Rosa, Darling. St Kilda: Dunstan, Montagna, Hayes, Riewoldt, Ray, Stanley. Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Jacob Mollison, Andrew Mitchell.|
Official Crowd: 36,448 at Patersons Stadium.
When St Kilda is spoken about in football circles from now on, it shouldn't centre around the players who have left the club in the past couple of years.
Because the Saints showed in their 25-point loss to West Coast at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night that they aren't the easybeats many expected them to be. The water-cooler experts may have to choose another prospect for the wooden spoon.
The Saints led until late in the third term, but didn't quite have the run to finish off.
In the opening term, St Kilda hit West Coast with everything. They dominated contested possession but managed just 1.5 and one out on the full.
Eagles Josh Kennedy and Callum Sinclair booted goals within three minutes of one another just before the break.
Having the two West Coast talls kicking goals was not a good sign for the Saints, especially after Sam Gilbert was sidelined five minutes into the first term - and sat out the night wearing a moon boot.
But importantly it was Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes, Farren Ray and Nick Riewoldt who were leading the way.
Riewoldt produced 15 minutes of inspired football during the second term that resulted in him kicking 2.1 and having a hand in two other six-pointers.
The Saints led by eight points at half-time and as much as 13 in the third term.
Luke Dunstan was playing way better than someone in their third AFL game would be expected to, and Rhys Stanley was holding his own against the celebrated West Coast taller brigade.
That taller brigade included Dean Cox, who was celebrating joining Glen Jakovich as the club's games record-holder (276).
Fittingly, it was the six-time All-Australian who booted the sealing goal at the 21-minute mark of the final term, taking the margin to 22 points.
West Coast hadn't lost a quarter going into this round-three contest, having beaten the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne by a combined total of 158 points.
Mark LeCras was subbed out of the game in the opening term after copping a knock to his right arm. He will have scans on the arm on Sunday.
Andrew Gaff continued his impressive start to the season, while Matt Rosa has added depth to the midfield brigade.
But if the Eagles give away the advantage in clearances and contested possession like they did on Saturday night, Adam Simpson's unbeaten run won't last very long.