ST KILDA remains in touch with the NAB AFL Women's top eight after landing a knockout blow on Geelong with a third-quarter blitz at RSEA Park on Friday night.
The Saints bombarded the Cats with nine scoring shots in the third term to turn a one-point half-time lead into an unassailable 25-point buffer at the final break.
SAINTS v CATS Full match coverage and stats
Saints spearhead Caitlin Greiser capped her dominant performance with a third major in the final term before two late Geelong goals salvaged some pride in the 7.9 (51) to 3.4 (22) result.
It leaves the Cats winless and anchored to the bottom of the table after four rounds.
Starting in sticky conditions, the Saints suffered a scare in the opening stages when Kate McCarthy was left dazed and taken from the field after a run-down tackle from Cat Sophie Van De Heuvel.
The Saints kicked the only major of the term through Greiser before Cat Rocky Cranston booted her first major of a disappointing season to date to level things up in the second quarter.
St Kilda could've been further in front at the main break if not for butchering several chances but made up for it with a barrage of entries after half-time.
The side recorded 13-3 inside 50s in the third term alone, the Cats left with few answers to break through a Saints wall across half-forward.
Put through concussion tests in the second quarter, McCarthy returned in the third term and booted the final goal of the match which leaves her side at 2-2 with five rounds remaining.
Saints shoot the lights out
Not even a short-lived concern with the RSEA Park lights could dull the Saints as they delivered a third-term onslaught. The permanent lights at the venue went out just moments before three-quarter time, leaving the temporary reinforcements to carry the load. It left the ground announcer to cheekily request nearby Moorabbin residents to turn their air conditioners off, such was the warm conditions on the evening.
Watt about that move?
Saints co-captain Rhi Watt continues to add strings to her bow in her third AFLW season. The former volleyballer, who has previously played the bulk of her time in defence, was used in the ruck again on Friday night and had the better of Geelong veteran Aasta O'Connor. Watt finished with 16 disposals, 13 hitouts, five clearances and two contested marks, helping the Saints to a clear stoppage ascendancy (23-17).
Saints coach Peta Searle conceded Cats co-captain Meg McDonald had the better of forward Caitlin Greiser in the opening quarter despite the Saints star booting an early major. Greiser then started to get on top in the contest of two All-Australians in the second term before kicking a goal on the three-quarter time siren only seconds after injuring her finger. She finished with 3.2 to be the most influential player on the ground.
"While it didn't indicate it on the scoreboard, I thought the way we were trying to play the game and move the ball was much more positive (in the second quarter), so it was a bit easier to go into half-time with some positives and reinforce that." – St Kilda coach Peta Searle
"We need to make sure we can shut an opposition team down when they get a run-on. If we're winning the contested possession, we look really good. If we're not, we need to get better at squeezing the contest and slowing the game down and giving ourselves to win the next one." – Geelong coach Paul Hood
ST KILDA 1.1 1.3 4.9 7.9 (51)
GEELONG 0.2 1.2 1.2 3.4 (22)
St Kilda: Greiser 3, Shierlaw, Shannon, Vogt, McCarthy
Geelong: Cranston, Rankin, McWilliams
St Kilda: Greiser, Watt, Smith, Lucas-Rodd, Dillon, Patrikios
Geelong: Webster, Purcell, A.McDonald, M.McDonald, Van De Heuvel
St Kilda: Nil
Crowd: 1454 at RSEA Park (Moorabbin)
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