Saints' pressure destroys Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints' pressure destroys Eagles

By Guy Hand 11/04/2009 06:45:36 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda turned up the pressure and the heat, to produce a diamond of a performance in a 97-point AFL smashing of West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Saturday to remain unbeaten this season.

Four goals each to Justin Koschitzke, Stephen Milne and Brendon Goddard - who kicked all his majors in the first quarter as a makeshift full-forward - steered the Saints to a crushing 25.11 (161) to 9.10 (64) win in a match they had wrapped up by half-time.

It was a win was built on uncompromising pressure, tackling and hardness at the contest, with midfielders Clinton Jones and Leigh Montagna leading the way for the Saints.

The unheralded Jones clocked up a remarkable 14 tackles and limited the effectiveness of Eagles danger man Daniel Kerr, while grabbing 25 touches of his own.

Also pivotal was St Kilda coach Ross Lyon's daring move to push Goddard forward early from his normal midfield role.

The Eagles had no answer to his work in front of goal in the first quarter - Goddard able to soften up the visitors' defence for Koschitzke to take control in a big second quarter.

The Saints booted 10 goals to two in the second term and toyed with an insipid Eagles side to open up a 63-point halftime lead.

St Kilda grew that margin to 66 points by three-quarter time, then hit the gas again in the final term as they flirted with taking their lead past the 100-point mark.

Eagles coach John Worsfold was furious with his side's performance, labelling it unacceptable and embarrassing.

While acknowledging the quality of the Saints' effort particularly around the stoppages, Worsfold was struggling to come to terms with his team's lack of competitiveness the week after an impressive shutdown of Port Adelaide.

"It was very hurtful, embarrassing and disappointing. We were well below what's acceptable," Worsfold said.

"There's no doubt we were outplayed by an outstanding side.

"The scoreboard pretty much accurately reflected how far behind St Kilda we were. Mentally we were very weak today."

Midfielder Matt Priddis was one of few Eagles to show up - easily his side's best with 30 disposals and 10 tackles.

In-form forward Mark LeCras booted three goals.

The Saints have now powered to a perfect three-from-three record, though they will have to sweat on the match review panel after star midfielder Nick Dal Santo and ruckman Steven King were reported.

Dal Santo was reported for striking and wrestling with Eagles tagger Tyson Stenglein, who also had his number taken in his 200th game on a wrestling charge.

King was reported in the fourth term for striking West Coast forward Ashley Hansen.

Lyon was thrilled his side had managed to produce a third successive week of hard, competitive football.

"The challenge in AFL football is coming up week after week," Lyon said.

"We challenged ourselves after a really positive win interstate to be able to come and reproduce effort and teamsmanship, and we ticked that box off today."

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