St Kilda v GWS: Fast-finishing Saints stun GiantsPhotos

St Kilda v GWS: Fast-finishing Saints stun Giants | Photos Billy Longer of the Saints and Shane Mumford of the Giants compete in the ruck during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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Aidan Corr of the Giants, Adam Tomlinson of the Giants, Nick Riewoldt of the Saints and Josh Bruce of the Saints compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Nathan Wright of the Saints and Zac Williams of the Giants compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jarryn Geary, Jack Billings and Nick Riewoldt of the Saints sing the song after winning the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Tim Taranto of the Giants and Jack Steele of the Saints compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Stephen Coniglio of the Giants kicks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Nathan Wright of the Saints kicks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jack Steven of the Saints is tackled by Josh Kelly of the Giants during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Stephen Coniglio of the Giants celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Dylan Shiel of the Giants and Jack Steven of the Saints compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jonathon Patton of the Giants is tackled by Jarryn Geary of the Saints during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Phil Davis of the Giants in action during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Tim Taranto of the Giants is tackled by Jack Sinclair of the Saints during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Giants look dejected after losing the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Devon Smith of the Giants is tackled by Dylan Roberton of the Saints during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Dylan Shiel of the Giants looks dejected after losing the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Jack Steven of the Saints handballs whilst being tackled by Shane Mumford of the Giants during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Restrictions

Jack Steele of the Saints handballs during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Jack Steele of the Saints high fives fans after winning the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Restrictions

Shane Mumford of the Giants compete in the ruck against Sam Gilbert of the Saints during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Restrictions

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Steve Johnson of the Giants handballs whilst being tackled Jarryn Geary of the Saints during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Restrictions

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

St Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

TweetFacebookSt Kilda have returned to Friday night footy in style, stunning Greater Western Sydney with a 23-point upset win at Etihad Stadium.

The Saints trailed by a goal at three-quarter time but exploded in the final term, booting six goals to one.

Jack Steven (29 disposals, two goals) was dominant in the midfield, half-back Dylan Roberton continued his stellar season and young forward Blake Acres sparked the Saints’ fourth-quarter run with consecutive goals.

With a crowd of 21,160 in attendance, it was the Saints’ best win for the year, and one that showed they belonged on the Friday night stage after a year-long absence.

There was little separating the two sides during a fast-paced start but problems soon emerged for the Giants, with defender Adam Kennedy suffering a game-ending knee injury midway through the first quarter.

Jack Steven and Koby Stevens epitomised St Kilda’s fanatical tackling with this attack on Josh Kelly Photo: Quinn Rooney

The 24-year-old appeared to be in immense discomfort after landing awkwardly during a marking contest and was on crutches in the rooms.

The Giants were soon reduced to two players on the interchange bench when Nathan Wilson’s head was slammed into the turf in an aggressive Koby Stevens tackle.

The tackle was deemed fair at the time – Stevens won a holding-the-ball free kick as a result of it – but the incident is bound to be scrutinised by the match review panel.

It was a miserable night for Giant Adam Kennedy who appeared to seriously injure his knee Photo: Quinn Rooney

Wilson went to the rooms for concussion tests but returned after halftime and was immediately in the thick of the action, setting up a Rory Lobb goal to extend the Giants’ narrow lead.

The plucky Saints refused to go away but struggled to convert their chances, with back-to-back turnovers from Giants veteran Heath Shaw going unpunished.

St Kilda levelled the scores late in the third term before Devon Smith’s 60m bomb kept the Giants ahead at the final break.

But the final term belonged to St Kilda, with Acres booting two majors in as many minutes on the back of Steven’s outstanding midfield work.

Steven capped off a best-on-ground performance with his second goal to put the icing on the cake as the Saints moved in to the top eight.

It was a rough comedown for GWS after their thrilling Friday night victory over the Western Bulldogs last week.

Stephen Coniglio, Tom Scully and Callan Ward were all impressive but the Giants couldn’t overcome the Saints’ fanatical pressure.

Goals:St Kilda: J Gresham 3 B Acres 2 J Billings 2 J Steven 2 N Wright 2 D Minchington D Roberton J Bruce J Newnes T Membrey.GWS: J Cameron 2 T Scully 2 D Shiel D Smith J Hopper J Patton N Wilson R Lobb S Coniglio T Taranto.

Umpires:Brett Rosebury, Brendan Hosking, Andrew Stephens.


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