Captain Nick Riewoldt and his forward-line understudy Paddy McCartin impressed in miserable conditions as St Kilda dominated their AFL match against Melbourne to win by 37 points.
Riewoldt kicked three goals and took 13 marks, while McCartin had his best game so far for the Saints in the 12.11 (83) to 6.10 (46) win on Sunday at the MCG.
It was McCartin’s fourth senior match and last year’s No.1 draft pick took nine marks in the wet weather and kicked a goal.
The Saints recruited McCartin to eventually take over from Riewoldt as their main key forward.
St Kilda and Melbourne went into this match on five wins apiece and are at similar stages in their rebuilds.
But on Sunday’s evidence, the Saints are a big step ahead.
Three days ago, St Kilda announced a two-year contract extension for coach Alan Richardson.
The Saints set the agenda in the first term with 20 inside 50s to only five.
Melbourne coach Paul Roos was furious, immediately bringing his players together at the quarter-time huddle and blasting them.
The Demons steadied in the second term, keeping St Kilda goalless.
They also kicked the last two goals of the half to be in the game with a seven-point deficit.
But the Saints killed off the challenge with the first two goals of the third term.
Riewoldt kicked two of St Kilda’s six goals for the quarter as they extended their lead to a decisive 29 points at the last break.
Saints defender Sean Dempster starred with 23 disposals and 10 marks.
Midfielders Jack Viney (31 possessions) and Nathan Jones (26 disposals) were tireless for the Demons.
In his first game back from injury, former Melbourne captain Jack Grimes was also solid in defence.
But they broke down badly again in attack and had no multiple goalkickers.
St Kilda predictably won the inside 50s 57-44 and also out-tackled Melbourne 83-57 in a scrappy match.