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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Saints March Past Tigers

St Kilda are set to move back into the top eight after thrashing Richmond by 69 points in their round 16 AFL match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Currently in ninth position, St Kilda are guaranteed a place in the top half of the competition at the conclusion of round 16 and their 16.10 (106) to 5.7 (37) victory will give them a boost in confidence amid their current injury crisis.

Justin Koschitzke led the scoring for the Saints with five goals and Stephen Milne was also impressive with his three majors.

Fraser Gehrig was his side's third multiple goal kicker with a double.

For Richmond, Matthew Richardson and Rory Hilton kicked two goals each while Brett Deledio registered their only other major.

Deledio's effort had given the Tigers an early advantage with a goal in the opening five minutes of the match, however the Saints hit back almost straight away with a major to Fraser Gehrig.

Richardson booted his first goal in the 16th minute, and his second a few minutes later saw the Tigers lead 3.2 (20) to 1.4 (10) at the first change.

It was the Saints who began the better of the two sides after the short break, Brent Guerra kicking a goal in the third minute to reduce the margin to four points.

They then hit the front for the first time in the match when Koschitzke found the target in the 15th minute.

Hilton put the Tigers on top with a goal from inside the circle, but a Gehrig snap a short time later saw the Saints reclaim the lead.

The Tigers were unable to match the Saints, whose aggressive approach and long kicking game were clearly paying dividends.

A late goal to Justin Peckett and a second to Koschitzke saw the Saints lead at the main break, 6.5 (41) to 4.4 (28).

If the match was in the balance at half-time then St Kilda assumed total control in the third quarter.

Koschitzke added two goals while Cain Ackland kicked his lone major to put the Saints further in front.

In response, the Tigers meekly recorded two behinds and St Kilda led at the final change, 9.8 (62) to 4.6 (30).

The fourth quarter was merely a procession as the Saints showed impressive accuracy on goal to register 7.2 to Richmond's 1.1.

Milne kicked his three majors in the final term while Koschitzke, Stephen Powell, Andrew Thompson and Aussie Jones also managed six-pointers.

Hilton kicked Richmond's only goal for the quarter and his second for the match.

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