Dan Butler kicks four goals as Saints pip Suns in AFL thriller, Magpies sneak home against Swans

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St Kilda has rallied for a fourth-straight win to shoot to second place on the AFL ladder, again storming home in a see-sawing contest to defeat Gold Coast by four points.

The Saints trailed by nine points inside the last 10 minutes before Dan Butler played match winner, kicking his third and fourth goals in an exhilarating 12.6 (78) to 11.8 (74) victory in Carrara.

Earlier in the evening, Collingwood snuck home by nine points against the Sydney Swans at the Gabba in Brisbane but lost Adam Treloar, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Isaac Quaynor to injury.

On the Gold Coast, Ben King (three goals) won bragging points over his twin brother Max in their first AFL encounter against one another.

It was the Saints, however, who prevailed although they were made to work for the four competition points, with the Suns twice rallying with four-straight goals to lead at half-time and again late in the final term.

St Kilda, through Butler, Josh Battle (two goals), Jack Billings (27 disposals) and Jack Steele (21 touches) produced another final-quarter flurry.

It was the Suns’ (4-6) fifth loss in their past six matches but they showed they are not far off finals, matching the Saints who improved to 7-3 to jump ahead of Brisbane on percentage.

St Kilda’s pressure looked to be compounding on the Suns as the visitors carved out an early three-goal lead when Max King was caught high and kicked straight.

But the hosts lifted their own intensity, beating the Saints around the contest and carving out four consecutive goals of their own.

Sean Lemmens celebrated his return with a neat roving goal, while Ben King marked strongly and kicked his second.


Butler kicked the last goal of the half though as the Suns held a three-point lead that was quickly erased when St Kilda kicked the first three majors of the third.

Unforced defensive errors cost the Suns but again they rallied.

Izak Rankine followed up another bright mark with an intercept goal and Noah Anderson snapped truly to make it a three-point deficit at the final break.

Will Powell (two goals) marked strongly while Ben King earned another free kick, both kicking straight as the Suns led by nine inside the final 10 minutes.

St Kilda came again though, Butler curling a clever kick through and Josh Battle showing poise from 45 metres as the Saints led by three.

The Suns threatened but again clean hands out of defence saved St Kilda, before Butler streamed forward and added a fourth with another brilliantly calm finish.

There was some news for the Suns to celebrate, however, with Matt Rowell to stay at the club until at least the end of the 2023 season after agreeing to a two-year contract extension.


The midfielder confirmed his hype as the number-one draft pick with a trio of best-on-ground performances for the Suns, before sustaining a shoulder injury against Geelong and opting for surgery that will likely see him out for the season.

“A lot of our group is between 18 and 22 so there’s going to be a lot of development and growth,” Rowell said.

“It’s going to be really cool to see how far we can get.”

Magpies find winning form against Swans

Collingwood survived a massive scare brought about by its woeful inaccuracy in front of goal in a tense victory over Sydney.

Treloar, Hoskin-Elliott and Quaynor all failed to finish Thursday night’s match, as the Magpies almost kicked themselves to a third straight defeat.

Brayden Maynard was also treated for a shoulder complaint but returned to play an important role in defence, as Nathan Buckley’s men recorded an important 6.14 (50) to 6.5 (41) victory.

“We largely were able to impose ourselves on the game and control the game for pretty much all of it,” Buckley said.

“There was probably 10 minutes in that last quarter where the Swans were able to get the ball forward a little bit more often but we totally controlled that.

The triumph in Brisbane came after a horror end to the Magpies’ time in Perth.

Despite beating Geelong in their first encounter in Perth, they lost to the resurgent West Coast Eagles and then fell to Fremantle, while the club was left embarrassed when it copped a hefty fine for coronavirus protocol breaches.

Treloar suffered a hamstring injury during the third quarter that is expected to sideline him for up to three weeks.

A Collingwood Magpies AFL player holds the ball as he is tackled from behind by a Sydney Swans opponent.
Adam Treloar played a starring role for the Magpies despite not finishing the match.(AAP: Darren England)

Hoskin-Elliott had his right knee accidentally stepped on and had the same leg caught under an opponent’s body during the first quarter.

He has bone bruising and possible structural issues, with further tests to determine the full extent of the damage.

Quaynor was taken off the field on a stretcher with a gash on his right shin late in the final term.

Buckley said the cut measured about “six or eight inches” and thought it might have been caused by Swans debutant Sam Wicks’s studs in a Quaynor tackle.

Collingwood dominated clearances (19-7) and forward 50 entries (32-11) in the first half but managed just 2.10 to the Swans’ five straight goals and trailed by eight points at the main break.

The weight of numbers eventually told late in the match as the Magpies reclaimed the lead with three third-quarter goals and they held sway in the final term, despite being three players down on the bench.

Despite being injured, Treloar starred with 25 disposals as Steele Sidebottom (17 disposals), in his second match back from suspension after breaching the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, again underlined his importance in the absence of injured captain Scott Pendlebury.

Taylor Adams (29 disposals) was another prime mover and tall forward Ben Reid was one of six individual goal kickers for the Magpies in his first AFL match since last year’s preliminary final loss to the Giants.

Jake Lloyd (25 possessions) was Sydney’s most prolific ball winner but the Swans had few winners in an undermanned midfield that was well beaten.

The result hung in the balance until Josh Daicos (25 disposals) evoked memories of his mercurial father Peter and nailed a goal with a superb checkside kick near the boundary line in the final few minutes.



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