Milne stars as Saints bury Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Milne stars as Saints bury Dockers

By Justin Chadwick 13/06/2010 09:28:12 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon took a subtle swipe at predecessor Grant Thomas after Stephen Milne's four first-half goals helped sink Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

Leading up to Milne's 200th game, Thomas claimed the 30-year-old goalsneak still had major flaws in his game.

But Milne did his utmost to prove his former coach wrong, his first-half heroics helping set up the 12.13 (85) to 10.7 (67) win.

"(It was a) really courageous effort," Lyon said of Milne's performance.

"There's been a lot of outside attacks, a lot of them unwarranted.

"To respond in the manner he did and focus on his footy as he has in particular since Nick's gone down is outstanding testament to his character and football character."

St Kilda weren't at their best but did enough to see off the Dockers, who trailed by 37 points midway through the third term before booting five unanswered goals to make it a contest.

Brendon Goddard was best afield with 33 possessions, Clint Jones performed an excellent shut-down role on Stephen Hill and Justin Koschitzke returned to form with two goals from 17 possessions.

But Koschitzke's good work was somewhat undone after he was placed on report for an off-the-ball strike on Ryan Crowley.

The Saints will also be forced to sweat on the fitness of Raphael Clarke, who injured his left hamstring in the first quarter, and Leigh Montagna, who copped a knee to the head in a marking contest.

St Kilda enter their bye week with a 9.-3 record but face pacesetters Geelong at the MCG on June 25.

"I haven't really thought about it," Lyon replied when asked about the grand final rematch.

"Let me have a lick of the ice cream tonight.

"We get to go away and actively rest (now during our bye week).

"They'll get a few days off but it's all about ... trying to sustain a level of excellent for our next opponent.

"They just happen to be a dual premiership team, three times grand final and in red hot form.

"Certainly no time for a breather."

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey admitted his team's ball movement needed tweaking after the club's second loss of the trot.

The Dockers posted just 45 inside 50s in the round 11 loss to Adelaide and managed just 39 against the Saints in a worrying trend.

"We need to be getting 50-plus and we'll probably be working a lot on our ball movement, that will be fair to say," Harvey said.

Fremantle remain in fourth spot, just one win ahead of chasing pack Carlton, Western Bulldogs and Sydney.

Dockers goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne was lively and finished with two goals, while Anthony Morabito also chipped in with two.

Chris Tarrant kept Milne goalless after half-time.

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