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January 30th, 2019 by admin

Saints blow away ‘Dogs in AFL clash

St Kilda destroyed the Western Bulldogs in the second half to win their AFL match by 63 points on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

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Saints onballer Lenny Hayes starred with 30 possessions, seven clearances and a superb third-quarter tackle as his team won 15.13 (103) to 5.10 (40).

The Bulldogs kicked the last three goals of the game to avoid some unwanted history.

Until Ryan Griffen kicked their third goal 19 minutes into the final term, the Bulldogs were in danger of recording the second-lowest score in club history and their biggest losing margin against the Saints.

The ‘Dogs doubled their score in the second half of the final term.

Incredibly, they had four more inside 50s for the match but the Saints’ defenders completely smothered their opponents and routinely cleared the ball with ease.

Adding to a shocking night for the club, Bulldogs defender Brian Lake appeared to be reported in the final term for allegedly striking Saints youngster Tom Simpkin.

When Daniel Giansiracusa kicked the Bulldogs’ second goal early in the third term, they reduced the margin to 25 points.

But the Saints then blew the game apart with a five-goal rampage in 12 minutes and had a 69-point lead at the last change.

Hayes laid a superb tackle on Easton Wood early in the third quarter that set up Jack Steven, who snapped a great goal.

The only negative for the Saints was defender Sam Gilbert, who appeared to suffer a lower back injury and was subbed off early in the third term.

St Kilda extended their winning streak over the Bulldogs to seven games, while the ‘Dogs remain winless under new coach Brendan McCartney.

Captain Nick Riewoldt and utility Brendon Goddard were also high among the Saints’ best, while Stephen Milne was well held by Rober Murphy before kicking three second-half goals.

Bulldogs small forward Luke Dahlhaus never stopped trying on a disastrous night.

The Bulldogs confirmed that Lake was booked for striking Simpkin on the wing in the final term.

If he is suspended, it would be a massive blow to their defence ahead of Sunday’s clash with Melbourne, who are also winless after three rounds.

St Kilda coach Scott Watters was rapt with his team’s performance, particularly their pressure when the game was still up for grabs in the second half.

But he also said they needed to be better with their disposal.

“There were lots of parts of the game that were really pleasing – I thought our pressure early was outstanding,” he said.

“We’re a work in progress and we have some areas that we need to continue to improve as well.

“We can be tidier with our skills and that’s something we’ll continue to work on … but it was a pretty solid performance.”

Watters was also confident that Gilbert would not miss any games.

McCartney said the Saints set up very well and the Bulldogs struggled to move the ball.

“That culminated in people losing confidence with the ball in their hand and thinking ‘gee, can I move it, can I get it to where I want it to go’ – that puts enormous pressure on your ability to defend the ground,” he said.

“Full credit to their pressure and their ability to set the ground up – we’ve just got to get better at it.”