St Kilda looked headed for another disastrous afternoon, before the match was turned on its head in the second half.
St Kilda has responded to last week’s belting at the hands of Essendon, using a second-half onslaught to record a terrific comeback win against the West Coast Eagles.
Brett Ratten’s side trailed by 33 points midway through the third quarter, before slamming on eight unanswered goals to run away 15. 12. (102) to 13. 4. (82) winners at Marvel Stadium.
The Saints were hammered from pillar to post in the media after their shocking Round Three performance, and looked to be staring down the barrel of another loss when the Eagles took a 81-48 lead, before a stunning comeback which saw them outscore West Coast 54-1 the rest of the way.
The crowd in attendance was left in disbelief by the incredible turnaround, with Melbourne great Garry Lyon crediting St Kilda’s manic second half pressure.
“This is what we thought St Kilda would be doing this year,” he said on Fox Footy’s coverage.
“This is what we thought they were capable of on the back of a 2020 season where they won a final.
“They got smashed with some injuries and then they got smashed by a lack of effort. We all waited today to see if there was some character in this team and there was some backbone and some resilience.
“At 33 points down halfway through the third quarter, there were plenty of questions and they’ve answered the lot with eight unanswered.”
Captain Jack Steele was inspirational once again for St Kilda, with 33 disposals and a crucial fourth-quarter goal, while star recruit Brad Crouch collected 26 disposals.
Last year’s big-money recruit Brad Hill also responded to critics with a 26-disposal performance.
Young gun Max King kept the Saints afloat for the majority of the first half and finished with a career-best five goals, while Dan Butler was instrumental in the comeback with three majors of his own.
It was a desperately disappointing afternoon for the Eagles, who looked to have the win in the bag when Jack Petrucelle kicked his fourth goal of the match in the third quarter.
To make matters worse for West Coast, veteran defender Shannon Hurn was subbed out of the game in the first half after suffering a calf injury.