Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Joanna Guelas

Saints tame Lions to keep AFLW finals campaign on track

St Kilda star Jesse Wardlaw has kicked two goals in an AFLW win over her former club Brisbane. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

St Kilda have pulled off one of the biggest upset wins of the AFLW season, conquering Brisbane by 21 points to keep their finals hopes alive.

Reeling from their first loss in four rounds, the Saints bounced back with an 8.7 (55) to 5.4 (34) win to snuff out the Lions' chance at winning the $1 million McClelland Trophy prize. 

Pending other results in the round, the Saints (5-4) could rise from 12th on the ladder and finish in eighth to make their first finals appearance.

St Kilda will need to win their last match of the season against fellow finals hopefuls Carlton next weekend but there is still a chance of missing the top eight should other results not go their way.

The fourth-placed Lions could also slip out of the top four, with fifth-placed Essendon sitting underneath them just by percentage.

"We've still got a lot of work to do from here with no guarantees with what could possibly be the following week, but really pleased with our four-quarter effort today," Saints coach Nick Dal Santo said.

"By definition, today was probably an elimination final. If we didn't take care of business today, then next week was off the table anyway."

One-time Brisbane premiership player Jesse Wardlaw (two goals) was electric in her first meeting with her old side and wasted no time to get on the scoreboard, drawing first blood to give St Kilda a hot start at RSEA Park on Saturday.

Jamiee Lambert (20 disposals, four clearances) and Georgia Patrikios (one goal, 18 disposals) went to work in the midfield, while Nat Exon, Ashleigh Richards, Tyanna Smith, Deanna Jolliffe and Ashleigh Richards were among the Saints' goalkickers.

With Brisbane unable to master the wind, Taylor Smith kicked the only goal in the first half despite attempts from Irish ace Orla O'Dwyer and AFLW debutant Bella K. Smith.

Trailing by 21 points at third-quarter time, the Lions were effectively ruled out of the contest when two successive 50-metre penalties against Ellie Hampson for a dangerous tackle gifted Smith a shot at goal.

Smith kicked truly despite the wind against her to seal the win for the Saints, backed up by another magnificent goal by Wardlaw just three minutes later.

Brisbane threatened to surge back with two quick goals from O'Dwyer and Dakota Davidson but the peril was quickly subdued by majors to Saints duo Jolliffe and Richards.

Ally Anderson was the shining light for Brisbane, celebrating her 75th game with 19 disposals and 12 contested possessions - she is the first player in the league to reach the 75-game milestone.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.