St Kilda's Purple Patch

St Kilda’s Saturday night dominating win against Richmond capped off a brilliant month of football from the Saints, who managed to find a purple patch perfectly in time for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision game.

The "purple match" for MRV was used to raise awareness of bone marrow failure syndromes, a cause close to home for the Riewoldt family as it had taken the life of Maddie Riewoldt; Nick Riewoldt’s sister and Jack Riewoldt’s cousin. The fans were dressed in purple and St Kilda followed suit as their jumper’s traditional red was replaced with purple*, this didn’t stop St Kilda from coming out red-hot. Fittingly it would be Nick who kicked the first major as Richmond were blown out of the park.

Much of the lead-up to the match had focussed on Richmond’s serious finals intentions, but it would end with focussing on St Kilda’s own finals credentials. The major talking point was not the result of the match but was the method in the way St Kilda completely smothered Richmond. Despite St Kilda having 110 more disposals, they also had 66 tackles, 12 more than Richmond, a testament to the tenacity of each Saints' player on the ground. The Richmond side looked fatigued and worn down, and unable to string together the exciting football they had been known for this season. With Richmond unable to stop St Kilda's link up play, the first half was one of the most one-sided in recent history, St Kilda booting 14.8. 92 as Richmond struggled at 1.4 10. The second half would ultimately prove a dull affair as the Saint’s took their foot off the pedal and coasted to an easy win, St Kilda 21.12 138 beating Richmond 10.11 71.

The performances were consistently good across the board, St Kilda midfielders Jack Steven and Seb Ross starred on the day with 33 disposals one goal each, whilst Tim Membrey booted five and Nick Riewoldt three. Not even All-Australian full-back Alex Rance was able to contain a dangerous St Kilda lineup. With the forwards firing on all cylinders, the Saint's have begun to mount a serious challenge to those teams around them.

The Saints have now strung together four wins for the first time since 2011, wins against Richmond (+67), Fremantle (+9), Gold Coast (+31) and North Melbourne (+17) have built up a head of steam for the Saints. There is an important month of football ahead for St Kilda, and their hot form comes just at the right time. Upcoming games against Essendon (currently 10th) and the inform Sydney (currently 8th) in the next two weeks will prove vital to the finals ambitions they carry.

Essendon has been streaky, they blew a big chance against Brisbane and looked to have slipped away from the pack. Then they came out and put old rivals Collingwood away, in complete contrast to the previous week, St Kilda will need to be on their guard. Sydney, on the other hand, are the competitions inform side and after a poor start, they enter the eight for the first time. The Saint's best football can match Sydney, bringing anything less will leave them empty-handed.

With the 2017 season proving one of the most even in recent years these games are vital. Maintaining their form will give St Kilda every chance to emulate the Western Bulldogs' 2016 success and end their 50-year drought. Do you think the Saint's have what it takes to go all the way? Let us know in the comment section below.

XBlades News

*Part of the proceeds from the sales of the one of a kind MRV guernsey will help fund further research towards treatment and a cure. If you would like more information or to make a purchase please follow this link.

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