Saints fly the Victorian flag in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints fly the Victorian flag in AFL

By Roger Vaughan 13/08/2006 07:28:20 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda was the only Victorian-based AFL club to enhance its September credentials this weekend, taking fourth spot three rounds out from the finals.

Three top-eight Melbourne clubs fluffed their chances in round 19, while Fremantle scored an historic win over Adelaide, reigning premier Sydney continued its ominous build-up to the finals and West Coast joined the Crows at the top of the ladder.

St Kilda's 15.13 (103) to 11.14 (80) win over Geelong also means the Cats are two games outside the eight and retain only a mathematical finals chance.

Of the other Victorian clubs, the Western Bulldogs blew their three-quarter time lead against Port in Darwin on Saturday, Melbourne was no match for Sydney and Collingwood's poor late-season form continued on Friday night against second-last side Essendon.

Non-Victorian clubs have shared the premiership among themselves since 2001, something that irks Saints coach Grant Thomas.

"I'm a Victorian, I like Victorian sides in finals," said Thomas, whose club's only premiership was in 1966.

"Interstate sides have done very well in finals in recent years and won premierships and there's a lot of Victorian sides which haven't won premierships in decades and decades and decades and a lot of interstate teams who haven't been in the competition too long and have won premierships.

"So as far as I'm concerned I'm very parochial about Victorian sides being in the finals."

St Kilda will now play a Perth blockbuster next Saturday night against the Dockers, who were outstanding at AAMI Stadium on Sunday, beating the Crows 13.17 (95) to 10.20 (80).

After Adelaide hit the front at three-quarter time and had the breeze for the last term, Fremantle steadied for a club-record sixth win in a row.

It was one of the best wins in the Dockers' chequered history.

"I'm really excited for everyone at Fremantle, we've had a tough 10 years, there'll never be a tougher 10 years for the pioneers of the club," said coach Chris Connolly.

"But the hard work of everybody who's gone before and especially the players has given us the opportunity, not just for the next two months but we think there's a fair window for the next five years."

But Dockers captain Peter Bell could find himself on report, with the match review panel to check an incident where he appeared to punch Crows defender Nathan Bassett.

Also on Sunday, Carlton returned to the bottom of the ladder with a 23-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG, 17.11 (113) to 13.12 (90).

On Saturday night, the Bulldogs blew their chance to confirm a finals berth when Port overran them in the last term to win 14.21 (105) to 13.13 (91).

The Bulldogs have now lost four of their last six.

Injury-plagued Melbourne had its third loss in four games as the Swans won on Saturday at the MCG, 14.11 (95) to 10.3 (63).

Demons captain David Neitz and Sydney's Paul Bevan are on report for charging.

As expected, the Eagles beat the Kangaroos at home by 26 points, 14.23 (107) to 12.9 (81).

West Coast's Daniel Chick could have some explaining to do after an incident where he shoved Jess Sinclair in the face.

Richmond broke a four-game losing streak on Saturday night, belting Brisbane 21.16 (142) to 8.12 (60) at Telstra Dome.

Essendon opened the round on Friday night at the MCG with a 10.14 (74) to 9.7 (61) win over the Magpies, handing Collingwood its sixth loss in nine games.

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