Star’s horrific missed goal of the year
A second-quarter blast from St Kilda has helped them cap off a tough week on a high note with a 25-point victory over North Melbourne in their first hitout in the JLT Community series competition.
North jumped out of the gates to hold the early advantage, but after quarter time it was one-way traffic as the Saints claimed the 15.12 (102) to 11.11 (77) victory.
In one stretch after the opening term the Saints piled in nine of the games next 11 goals to hit the front and hold sway until the final siren.
Of course the final margin could have been ever greater had it not been for a nightmare shot on goal from star midfielder Jack Newnes.
Newnes had a shot after the final siren from only a metre or two out and with the new rules in place could have snapped across his body.
But he clearly forgot and attempted the old trusty drop punt from the impossible angle and made a complete mess of the shot. His woeful kick missed the goals by an incredible margin.
Thankfully the Saints had the game well and truly wrapped up and the final kick had no bearing on the end result.
ST Kilda's midfield got right on top after the first term and their pressure forced the Kangaroos into numerous turnovers.
Brad Scott's men over-handballed the footy, ending up with 123 more disposals (461-338).
The Roos also ended up with 15 more inside 50s (58-43), but St Kilda defenders Nathan Brown and Josh Battle barely gave them a sniff.
St Kilda had six multiple goalkickers, including Jack Billings (20 touches), Jack Steele (18) and Paddy McCartin (seven marks) who were among St Kilda's best.
GIANTS' ROLLS ROYCE'S FIRE
The GWS Giants rid themselves of star talent following the 2018 season, but in their first hitout they showed their class runs incredibly deep.
Without Josh Kelly in the line-up, the Giants steamrolled their crosstown rivals in ruthless fashion.
Stephen Coniglio and Tim Taranto ran riot through the middle of the ground as they combined for a staggering 67 disposals.
But perhaps the biggest positive of all was the mercurial play of dashing defender Zac Williams who missed the bulk of the 2018 season.
The star ruptured his achilles and the Giants' run suffered. When he returned to the team in the finals he showed why he was so missed and in the first JLT clash he took things to a new level.
Williams only played the first half but was back to his devastating best as he finished with 18 touches and delivered the ball by foot at 94.4 per cent efficiency. He gained a monstrous 445 metres in his time on ground.
With Williams and Lachie Whitfield streaming out of the backline and Kelly, Coniglio and Taranto going to work in the middle the Giants will once again be serious contenders in 2019.
The Swans managed to work their way back into the contest in the third term, but the Giants had too many weapons and proved too strong as they stormed to the 12.9 (81) to 8.11 (59) win.
CROWS SOAR IN SEARING HEAT
Port Adelaide have cleared Paddy Ryder of serious injury after the ruckman hurt an ankle in the 17-point loss to Adelaide.
Ryder limped from the field with just minutes remaining in Saturday's fixture at Port Pirie which the Crowswon 16.10 (106) to 14.5 (89).
Ryder rolled his right ankle in a ruck contest but coach Ken Hinkley said the injury was "nothing major".
Ryder was the sole injury scare in a match featuring four goals to Adelaide veteran Eddie Betts in 40-degree heat.
Betts, Matt Crouch and his brother Brad, Rory Sloane and Rory Laird were all prominent for the Crows.
Sloane, appointed co-captain this year with Taylor Walker, collected 28 disposals, Matt Crouch had 32 touches and sibling Brad, who missed all of last season because of groin problems, collected 29 possessions.
Laird (28 possessions) was superb in defence and forwards Tom Lynch, Darcy Fogarty and Riley Knight each booted two goals.
Port kicked four of the initial five goals but then a slick Adelaide outfit seized control.
The Crows led by 36 points midway through the last quarter before Port finished with a flurry.
The Power's reigning club champion Justin Westhoff, Steven Motlop, Brad Ebert and their top pick at last year's draft, Connor Rozee, kicked two goals each.
Another of Port's highly rated draftees, Zak Butters, was a standout with 25 disposals and fellow newcomer Xavier Duursma kicked a goal.
Defender Dan Houston gained 21 disposals and Travis Boak, having stood down as captain this year, was busy with 27 touches.
Port's new signing Scott Lycett, who arrived after winning last year's premiership with West Coast, had the 24 hit-outs - the most of any player - while former Hawthorn halfback Ryan Burton collected 17 disposals.
- with AAP