Wounded Lions succumb to Saints comeback

BRISBANE               7.1   8.2   11.6   16.12       (108)
ST KILDA                 2.3   9.6   12.9   13.8          (86)

By MATTHEW BALMER

A seven-goal onslaught in the second term saw St Kilda overcome a 28-point deficit at quarter-time to find a 22-point win over Brisbane Lions on Sunday.

The Lions propelled to a 29-point lead 20 minutes into the first term before the Saints fought back to kick nine of the next 11 goals.

Saint captain Nick Riewoldt laboured to kick four goals and collect 15 disposals, leading his side to their third win this season.

Saint midfielder David Armitage found dominance after quarter-time, collecting a club-high 31 disposals and 11 clearances, while teammate Jack Steven provided support with 26 disposals.

Saint midfielder Maverick Weller broke the Lions’ spirits and continued his side’s momentum into the third term when he crept forward to score back-to-back goals within 30 seconds.

The Lions missed star Daniel McStay – who injured his hand in last week’s loss to Essendon – but utility player Ryan Lester helped fill the void, booting four goals.

Lion midfielder Daniel Rich exploded into the first term to kick two goals and collect eight possessions.

But at the quarter-time-huddle, Saint coach Alan Richardson tasked Weller with silencing Rich, which contained the Lion to just 18 disposals.

Post-match, Lion coach Justin Leppitsch said his side “kept on battling” after they lost key players to injury, which reduced the bench to just two rotations.

“I’m proud of the guys. We had to have a Band-Aid approach in the second half with injury,” Leppitsch said.

“We lost a few defenders. [We] had a few makeshift guys down there.”

Key Lion defender Darcy Gardiner was sidelined after suffering a calf injury in training this week.

Trainers carried Lion Ryan Harwood off the field when he was concussed from a head knock 20 minutes into the first term, while teammate Claye Beams injured his knee in a tackle in the second term.

Former Lion captain Jed Adcock also joined battered teammates on the bench when he suffered a calf injury in the third term.

The Lions travel to Sydney to clash with GWS Giants, while the Saints meet reigning premiers Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.

See match highlights

 See Saint coach Alan Richardson in a post-match conference

See Lion coach Justin Leppitsch in a post-match conference

WRAP-UP

GOALS
Brisbane: Lester, 4; Rich, 2; Robinson; Bewick; Rockliff; Green; Robertson; Zorko; Christensen
St Kilda: Riewoldt, 4; Armitage, 2; Dunstan, 2; Schneider, 2; Weller, 2; Lonie; Steven; Bruce; Roberton

BEST
Brisbane: Beams, Taylor, Lester, Martin, Andrews, Zorko
St Kilda: Armitage, Steven, Montagna, Schneider, Newnes, Riewoldt

INJURIES
Brisbane: Bewick replaced in Gardiner (calf) selected side, Harwood (concussion), Beams (knee), Adcock (calf)
St Kilda: McKenzie (concussion)

SUBSTITUTES
Brisbane: Zac O’Brien replaced Ryan Harwood in the first quarter
St Kilda: Jack Sinclair replaced Tom Hickey in the third quarter

REPORTS: None

UMPIRES: Heath Ryan, Brendan Hosking, Shaun Ryan

CROWD: 16,898 at the Gabba