Despite a fourth quarter fightback, the Southern Saints went down by 22-points in their round two matchup on the weekend against a strong Collingwood side at Victoria Park.
Except for a slight breeze, both teams couldn’t have asked for much better conditions, as the sun shone brightly over the ground.
It was Collingwood who got off to a fast start in the first quarter after a run-down tackle led to a brilliant roving effort in the goal square.
Collingwood continued to press forward early, but the Saints defence worked hard to repel their attacks with Rebecca Ott positioning herself well and rebounding the ball.
The Saints flipped the switch halfway through the quarter with Deanna Jolliffe and Hannah Stuart working hard to push the ball forward.
Despite some nice forward pressure, the Saints were unable to capitalise on their chances as they went into the quarter time break down by five points.
The second quarter started much like the first with Collingwood applying forward pressure and hitting the scoreboard early.
Collingwood appeared to be the more physical side and their hard work paid off, as a nice goal from Imogen Barnett on the run opened up a handy 17-point lead halfway through the second.
Working with the breeze, a kick off the ground in the goal square gave them their third for the quarter and things soon went from bad to worse for the Saints, as defender Ott went off with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
Going into halftime the Saints were struggling — down by 30 points — and the message from coach Dale Robinson was to “focus on fundamentals and execution” and “improve communication".
After a contested start to the third, it was Collingwood who got the first again, with the luck seeming to go their way, as a floating punt found its way through.
Collingwood continued to press forward, but again the Saints defenders worked hard with Kayla Ripari and Madi Capsalis applying strong tackles and defensive pressure.
In a back-and-forth quarter, both teams struggled to score and despite a late chance for Val Moreau, the Saints were unable to get a major and went into the final break down by 34-points.
Following the trend of the day Collingwood hit the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter to extend their lead.
The Saints continued to show fight and were rewarded with their first goal — an impressive snap —to Renee Saulitis.
The Saints worked hard and managed to win the quarter in an effort that would have pleased the coaches as Stuart and Tara Bohanna both kicked late goals, but ultimately it was Collingwood who came away 22-point victors.
Coach Dale Robinson spoke after the game about the performance.
“Today was a tough one,” she said.
“We moved away from our footy a bit and got caught behind.
“There are some positives to take out of the game going forward — to put a couple of goals on and to win the last quarter was a good way to finish.”
Next week sees the Saints take on Geelong VFL at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds at 1pm on Sunday.
Southern Saints: 0.3 0.3 0.5 3.6 (24)
Collingwood: 1.2 5.3 6.3 7.4 (46)
Goals: Saulitis, Bohanna, Stuart
Best: Stuart, Bertuna, Curley, De Angelis, Bohanna, Ripari
Written by Will Michael - Sandringham Football Club Media