MATCH REPORT: St Kilda vs North Melbourne | Round 19, AFL, 2023.

Matt Tiffen
July 25, 2023

Where do we start on a game such as this? Our victory against the Roos earlier in the year was deflating, and our most current victory against them was equally as so. We have beaten the two worst teams in the competition, two teams who are reaching historical levels of reprehensibly bad football, by a combined margin of sixteen points. We are obviously not as good as many other teams out there, but our results are indicating we are nearly as bad as the worst of the worst. Fox Footy has us ranked as the 15th best side in the league at the moment, it’s just so confusing to be sixth on the ladder, but so disappointed at the same time. We had optimism coming into the year, and no one could have predicted we’d be where we are now, but somehow, a lot of us are discouraged and disheartened. What is happening? Our injury list is now officially the smallest it has been for 2023, we’re almost at full strength, bar a couple players, but can’t seem to string four quarters together.

We kicked the first two goals of the game, and at one point it was three goals straight, how magical it would have been if that accuracy had longevity to it. But as it was, our next ten shots at goal yielded us one goal and nine behinds, to go along with a few no scores. It’s so frustrating it makes me want to cry. In all seriousness, we should have blown North out of the water. That one goal nine behinds was our total score for more than a half of football, crazy.

Owens was our energy early; he could have had three to his name in pretty quick time but missed an opportunity. Him and Sheezel were said to be battling it out for the Rising Star in this match, and I’d say Owens’ 2.1, 17 touches (7 contested), 6 marks and a few spoils was a lot more impactful than Sheezle’s 28 touches where only three were contested, and more than ten of those were kick-outs from the square.

In the final term we flicked the switched on and got back to some of our early season form. Marshall went forward and kicked a goal, which we have been crying out for for months. Marcus Windhager stood up tall, too, and had a massive fourth quarter, finishing with thirty touches and nine marks for the game. Windy missed a lot of footy early, then was made to force his way back through the two’s, but it’s exciting to see him finally getting a proper run at it this year.

Can we turn things around? Can we flip the script and recapture the form that made us so good, so early in the year? It might be something small, but if we can use the leverage of that final quarter display and carry it over to next week, we can find some real momentum if we topple Hawthorn. The fate of our season is in our hands, and if we want to play finals we need to win a few more matches – will it happen? Or will we limp across the line and wind up in tenth?


3 – Wood

2 – Steele

1 – Owens