Gary Ablett was nothing short of fantastic for the Gold Coast Suns, but his team was once again on the other end of a blowout loss as St Kilda ran away with a 21.13.139-7.5.47 victory.
The Saints were a class above to begin the match and received two goals in the first two minutes from Sam Gilbert and Terry Milera. It took Milera 23 seconds to break the middle and run into a goal and a couple of defensive errors allowed Gilbert to pounce on the ball and kick accurately around his body.
The Suns were better across the ground as the quarter progressed but couldn’t get anything going in their forward line.
Stanley added another after some beautiful transition kicking from Milera allowed some Saints players to run free, resulting in the big 21-year-old to mark and goal.
Milne helped add the Saints fourth when he spun away from goal and centered the ball, finding Riewoldt who was strong in the air, giving them a 30 point lead at quarter-time.
Dangerous signs for the Suns as the second quarter got underway, Stanley bombed a ball and Koschitzke took a courageous mark in the goal square.
Milne missed two set shots on goal over a couple of minutes and it sparked a Gold Coast run that saw them dominate the ball across half back and head inside fifty a number of times. Luke Russell gathered a loose ball inside 50, sidestepped two defenders and kicked the first Suns goal of the game. Shortly after, Harley Bennell led and marked, waited for a running Tom Hickey to sneak past the defense, and lobbed a handball over his defender for a nice goal.
But two late Saints majors to Milera and Jarryn Geary pushed the lead to 39 and gave St Kilda a 55-14 halftime lead.
Milne needed just two and a half minutes to kick the Saints as he shrugged a Matera tackle to goal. Matera got one of his own back for the Suns third major of the game.
The two sides traded another pair of goals courtesy of Armitage and a 50 meter bomb from Ablett before the Saints piled on three goals in three minutes. A contentious holding the ball decision resulted in Riewoldt’s third while Cripps and Milne completed the final two.
Milne was given the red vest in an already decided game giving Tom Ledger his first run of AFL footy.
Campbell Brown kicked two more to improve the suns score, one coming from a beautiful delivery when Ablett ran 50 meters and speared a pinpoint pass into the path of his teammate.
Goddard kicked a goal after a fantastic tackle and Jack Steven kicked another on the siren to give St Kilda a 60 point lead heading into the final term.
The result didn’t get any better for the Gold Coast in the fourth. Goals to Armitage, Stanley, Riewoldt, Jones, McEnvoy and Koschitzke further blew open an already uneven game. The Suns weren’t as bad as the score board indicated and have already displayed great improvement but it has been a horrid start to 2012 and they need to be more competitive.
Gary Ablett was brilliant in the loss. He notched 40 disposals and kicked two goals. Brendan Goddard had 33 for the Saints and Nick Dal Santo added 26. Riewoldt led all goal kickers with 4.2.