Injury-ravaged St Kilda have dug deep to score a famous 29-point AFL victory over Collingwood at the MCG.
The Saints finished Saturday’s game with one fit player on the bench after Nick Riewoldt and Paddy McCartin were concussed in the second quarter and Dylan Roberton suffered a knee injury in the third term.
But despite that numerical disadvantage, they somehow found a way to break through for their first win of the season – 18.11 (119) to 14.6 (90) – in front of 50,903 fans.
On the day St Kilda celebrated the 50th anniversary of the club’s sole premiership in 1966, the Saints showed enormous courage to set up the win with a six-goals-to-one third quarter after leading by just two points at halftime.
Alan Richardson’s side managed only one goal in the last quarter of each of their first two games of the season but they finished strongly to hold off a belated challenge from the Pies.
Riewoldt was among his side’s best players in an entertaining first half before he was felled by a high Levi Greenwood tackle, while fellow veteran Leigh Montagna was outstanding all day.
He gathered 40 possessions in an influential display, with Jack Newnes, Seb Ross and Jack Steven also important.
The disappointing Magpies had few winners, but Taylor Adams and Adam Treloar worked hard through the middle in an onball brigade that was well beaten.
Collingwood didn’t escape unscathed either with Marley Williams unable to finish the game with a foot injury.