Riewoldt ensures Saints beat Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt ensures Saints beat Magpies

13/09/2008 11:18:54 PM Comments (0)

Nick Riewoldt proved superstars aren't subdued in successive finals as he led St Kilda to a semi-final belting of Collingwood at the MCG.

The Saints skipper's superb individual performance of five goals and 15 marks provided his side a passage to next Saturday's preliminary final against Hawthorn.

In one of the great performances of Riewoldt's eight-year career, he imposed himself on the game with three goals in the first quarter.

He sent a scare through the St Kilda camp late in the game when he looked to have twinged his ankle but spent the last few minutes on the bench resting as St Kilda won 17.4 (106) to 9.18 (72).

The forward's game typified his side's dramatic turnaround from last Sunday when St Kilda were smashed by Geelong and Riewoldt was well beaten, by young Cat Harry Taylor.

St Kilda's win, before a crowd of 76,707, gave them a chance to atone defeat in preliminary finals in 2004-05 and ensured the top four sides of the home and away campaign will play off on the penultimate weekend of the season.

It also kept alive the dream for Saints veteran Robert Harvey, who set up his side's first three goals with pinpoint passes, knowing defeat would have meant the end of his 21-year career.

But the night belonged to Riewoldt.

Like Western Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson on Friday night, Riewoldt also rose when challenged physically as he was nursing a sore shoulder when pushed into Tyson Goldsack by opponent Nathan Brown.

Brown spent most of the night trying to keep up with Riewoldt but he was not the only Magpie defender outclassed.

Justin Koschitzke had the better of Shane Wakelin to finish with three goals while forward pocket Stephen Milne also chipped in with three when the game was still alive.

Riewoldt's handball to Jason Gram for a goal in the second quarter gave the Saints the lead after a tight opening, but it was the first of a run of 10 out of 11 goals, which made the game safe by three-quarter time.

While St Kilda had little trouble scoring, they also stymied Collingwood's attack brilliantly by continually chopping off stray passes.

Jason Blake blanketed Travis Cloke although the Magpie forward was labouring after a bout of illness earlier in the week, while Sam Fisher beat Paul Medhurst and Raph Clarke did well across half-back.

Midfielders Nick Dal Santo and Leigh Montagna were also far more influential than their Collingwood opponents.

The only blemish on St Kilda's night was the report of Koschitzke who was booked for slinging Wakelin to the ground in the second term.

St Kilda will start underdogs against Hawthorn in pursuit of just their third grand final berth since their sole 1966 premiership, but they did beat the Hawks in their last clash, in round 16.

Collingwood began the game without captain Scott Burns (calf) and fullback Simon Prestigiacomo (shoulder), but the latter would not have had the pace to go with Riewoldt even if fully fit.

Midfielder Luke Ball (hamstring) missed for the Saints, but he will be assessed during the week.

But Jarryd Allen was out of action from the first quarter, because of a hip injury, and is unlikely to play the Hawks.

St Kilda's kicking for goal was exemplary, but in contrast Collingwood's was appalling, and at three-quarter time they had booted 5.16 in fine conditions.

The side's three sharpshooters John Anthony, Leon Davis and Paul Medhurst managed 2.8 between them.

Rhyce Shaw, who came into the side for Burns, was one of Collingwood's best along with Dane Swan and ruckman Josh Fraser.

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon said his side had played with great spirit and put pressure on Collingwood across the ground.

"Our tackling pressure ... and there was a couple of times where they (Collingwood) had it and they looked to go and someone got a fingernail in and we were able to turn it over," he said.

"The pressure skills were good."

He said the victory was also a relief for the club, to avoid losing successive finals from fourth spot.

"It was important, as it would have been for the Bulldogs, that we didn't go out in straight sets.

"We're under no illusions about what we've got ahead of us next week, but I don't really want to talk about Hawthorn tonight, I don't want to talk about Buddy (Lance Franklin).

"Let me enjoy tonight and I'll go and review and get it done quickly and move on."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news