Milne kicks eight as Saints pound Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Milne kicks eight as Saints pound Crows

Sam Lienert 23/07/2011 12:25:43 AM Comments (0)

St Kilda goalsneak Stephen Milne booted eight goals Friday night to help his side embarrass Adelaide 19.13 (127) to 3.6 (24) and boost the Saints' late-season AFL finals charge.

The 103-point win compounded the pressure on Crows' coach Neil Craig, whose team's spiritless effort followed a fade-out loss to Essendon last round and was their eighth defeat in nine games.

It was the Saints' seventh win in nine games with a significant percentage boost.

They bridged what had been a gap of seven percentage points to Sydney at the start of the night, lifting them into the top eight for the first time this year.

St Kilda made light work of the Crows from the start, scoring five goals to one in each of the first two quarters, to lead by 45 points at the main break, at which stage Milne and fellow small forward Adam Schneider (five goals) had three majors each.

The second half was total domination.

In the first 20 minutes of the third quarter, St Kilda took the ball into attack 15 times and scored 4.7, including three majors to Milne.

Over the same period, the Crows did not attack even once, and they ended up scoring just 1.1 to the Saints' 9.11 for the second half.

St Kilda's pressure to lock the ball in their own forward half was exceptional and they had 33 more tackles than Adelaide for the night, despite having 119 more disposals.

It was a reminder of the type of football that made the Saints grand finalists in each of the past two seasons and an indication that they might yet do some damage if they reach this year's finals, although the Crows provided limp opposition.

But the Saints would have been enormously heartened by the performance of some of their stars.

Along with Milne's goal spree, captain Nick Riewoldt took 14 marks and kicked three goals.

Midfielder Nick Dal Santo was the game's top disposal-winner, Brendon Goddard gathered 30 touches and used the ball superbly, Leigh Montagna was also damaging and defender Sam Fisher was in good touch, before being subbed off in the third term.

For the Crows, there was very little to like, although ruckman Sam Jacobs and midfielders Scott Thompson and Michael Doughty battled hard.

The Crows' score was the lowest in the club's history and the losing margin their greatest in seven years.

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon said it was a good four-quarter, whole-team performance.

"There's some really good individual statistical numbers, but obviously I'm a senior AFL coach and what caught my eye was the real team performance, the level of contribution and everyone playing their part," Lyon said.

"Otherwise you can't get that sort of performance. That's what I'll push publicly, because that's really what occurred."

Crows coach Neil Craig refused to speculate on his own future.

"Now is not the time to even go down that path, because of the emotions of a loss to start with and then the way the loss unfolded in the second half," Craig said.

"You just probably need a day or two to settle, no different to the playing group, they'll be devastated at the moment."

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