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Dees’ scintillating young star shines; Saints recruit has work to do: The 3-2-1

Dees’ scintillating young star shines; Saints recruit has work to do: The 3-2-1

Melbourne has started its season 2-0 for the first time since 2017, defeating St Kilda 12.19 (91) to 11.7 (73) in the first ever Spud’s Game on Saturday night.

The match, which celebrated the life and memory of the late Danny Frawley and promoted awareness of mental health, saw several swings in momentum, with the Saints at one stage kicking five straight goals before the Dees hit back with five of their own.

St Kilda threatened to get a run on at stages in the final term, but undisciplined free kicks allowed the Dees to steady before eventually sealing the win.

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Round 2


Clayton Oliver led all-comers on the stats sheet, racking up 34 disposals, while Kysaiah Pickett was electric in the forward half with two goals and chances at two more.

Max King was brilliant for the Saints early in the match, booting a couple of goals in the first half, while Dougal Howard battled manfully in defence.

The Dees should enter favourites against GWS in Round 3, with an opportunity to start 3-0 for the first time since 2005.

St Kilda will have a chance to rebound with a clash against Essendon, who were beset by injury during their loss to Adelaide earlier.

Tonight’s match was Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk, celebrating the life and memory of the late Danny Frawley, as well as promoting a national conversation that can help lead to early intervention and fight the prevalence of mental ill-health in the community.

St Kilda players wore No. 2 jumpers with ‘Spud’ on their backs during the pre-game warm-ups.

Funds raised during Spud’s Game will go to mental health programs through the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing, as well as Movember. DONATE HERE

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THE 3-2-1


The hype around Kysaiah Pickett was significant after his selection at Pick No.12 in the 2019 draft and he hasn’t wasted any time living up to it.

He has shown glimpses of brilliance from his 14-game debut season, but against St Kilda the 19-year-old was simply phenomenal.

A scintillating goal in the second term showcased everything he can offer, before a lightning-fast start to the third term saw him rack up seven disposals by the midway point of the quarter and almost kick another brilliant goal seemingly out of nothing.

His pace and agility is already wowing footy fans 16 games into a promising career and Jordan Lewis tipped that to be the case for a long time to come.

“His agility and understanding of where the goals are is just great to watch,” he said.

“This is a player that will provide plenty of highlights over the next 10 years.”

Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling agreed, adding, “Demons fans are going to love him for a long time.

“The skill, the ability but also the desperation ... he’s going to become a fan favourite in a hurry.”

He’d kick another brilliant goal in the fourth term, launching a snap from long range to give the Dees even more breathing room on the scoreboard.


There were some good signs from him in Round 1 after a below-par 2020, but the boom recruit’s Round 2 performance proved there is still plenty to work on if he’s to return to his absolute best.

Hill went at just over 50 per cent efficiency with his ball use and turned the ball over seven times from his 21 touches and finished with just two score involvements.

Whether it’s the Saints lineup needing to use Hill’s assets better or Hill needing to lift his game, there’s a lot of work to do for the 27-year-old, who the Saints showed huge faith in during the 2019 trade period.


Melbourne showed brilliant attacking capability but a tendency to concede inside 50s and scoring runs easily.

It’s still the Melbourne we’ve come to know in recent years for better or worse - Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca were brilliant in the middle with silver service from Max Gawn, while Steven May and Jake Lever were rock solid down back.

Coupled with Melbourne’s 54 inside 50s, though, was the fact they conceded 53 the other way.

Still, at the end of the day, Melbourne are 2-0 to start the season, a welcome change from years past and a sign that things might be on the improve with Sam Weideman and Ben Brown still to return later in the campaign.


Touching words from Garry Lyon and Stewart Loewe in the middle of Marvel Stadium cut through the game itself, reminding us all that, if we’re suffering, staying silent is no longer an option.

Speak up, ask a mate how they’re going and understand that it’s OK to tell someone you’re not OK.

‘Spud’s Game’ was a legacy moment for Danny Frawley and his family, one that hopefully resonated for footy fans across the country.

The match got underway at 7:25pm EDT from Marvel Stadium.

Recap St Kilda v Melbourne in our live blog below!

If you can’t see the blog, tap here.

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