Melbourne Tigers play out their historic season, then lose it to St Kilda
It was a day to remember for Melbourne’s Tiger fans as the Tigers were swept away by St Kildas in a blockbuster clash at Metricon Stadium.
A wild final quarter capped a memorable first half that saw the Tigers score the game’s first try from a Ben McCalman pass to Sam Jacobs.
And with the St Kiles side in the ascendancy, the Tigers had a golden opportunity to mount a comeback with a second try from their own Jack Riewoldt pass.
But they could not get their game on as the Saints mounted a late comeback and beat Melbourne by 10 points in a game that will have an impact on the AFL and the game in general.
The Tigers had the better of the first half, but were forced to make several key changes in the second.
Josh Dunkley, who was the team’s leading try scorer at the start of the year, was replaced by the highly-rated Jack Rowntree in the first quarter.
It was the second change to the side which beat the Saints by 10, but it was the first of the day and the first time the Tigers have had two changes in a match.
Josh Dunkleys replacement for Jack Ransom in the third quarter was Sam Jacobs, who scored the winning try with his left hand.
Josh Rowntrees replacement for Matt Ballin for the last two minutes of the game was the star of the show in the opening minutes.
Jacobs made a big play in the middle of the field to make it 3-0 to the Tigers.
He was not even allowed to run out for a second time after that, and was taken off in the final minute with a hamstring injury.
Josh Jacobs was substituted with 10 minutes remaining.
St Kilda’s Luke Dahlhaus made a huge tackle to give St Kils a first-half lead.
St Kilds did not go down to 10 men for the first six minutes of play, but eventually got back to 10-0.
They went for the try-scoring and it was a big moment for the home side.
Then the Saints did the unthinkable, and put a big chunk of pressure on the Tigers with 10 unanswered points in the match.
Jacques Browner was kicked for a try and the Saints won it, 13-10.
The result leaves the Tigers seven points off the top six in the table and will also take a massive hit on their premiership hopes.
Melbourne Tigers v St Kilaas at Metricon Stadium, Saturday September 15, 2018, 7:30pmAUBURN VS GOLD Coast at Etihad Stadium, Sunday September 16, 2018 7:00pmCARLTON VS Adelaide at Etouras Stadium, Monday September 17, 2018 4:00amAdelaide and Carlton played their first game in three days at Etorra Stadium on Saturday night.
The Power had to beat Gold Coast by five points to stay alive in the finals chase and it did so with a win over Carlton in Melbourne.
Gold Coast had to defeat Adelaide by 16 points to retain its spot in the top four, but the Power went into this match with a huge cushion of 16 points in front of them.
Goldcoats coach Ross Lyon was delighted with the result.
“We know the result was important, but we know the next two games are crucial, especially the finals,” Lyon said.
“So we knew we had to do the right thing, but in the last 10 minutes we just did it.”
The final quarter was dominated by Gold Coast and the Power’s defence was not strong enough to get out of it, but they were still able to get a big penalty in the dying moments of the contest to give Adelaide a 21-16 win.
Carlton had its biggest challenge of the match when it had a late try to seal the win.
But it was still a disappointing result for the Power, who now face Melbourne in the next round.
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