Nick Riewoldt of the Saints (left) and Stefan Martin of the Lions compete for the ball.
Nick Riewoldt of the Saints (left) and Stefan Martin of the Lions compete for the ball. TRACEY NEARMY

Riewoldt shines for the Saints

WE can't call him the Jack of all trades - that would be his cousin. But Nick Riewoldt was everything St Kilda needed yesterday.

It was surprising that Riewoldt was playing against Brisbane at all in many respects after what looked at first like a season-ending injury against Melbourne in Round 1.

But the veteran recovered as quickly as could have been expected and was back on the park - and starring - just a fortnight later.

It was a big inclusion for the Saints after midfield star Jack Steven went down with a punctured lung against West Coast.

Alan Richardson needed a replacement for a three-time club best and fairest winner; and who better than a six-time winner?

It would have been easy to slot Riewoldt forward given last time he played the Lions he kicked nine goals and took 21 marks.

But instead he did what the team needed and popped into the midfield.

"Somebody needed to step up," Fox Footy commentator Gerard Healy explained.

Riewoldt finished with 28 disposals - the third-most he has ever had over his 321-game career - while he also took 12 marks and kicked three goals.

It wasn't just the numbers though; it was the impact.

Riewoldt was there when the Saints needed it most.

Brisbane had just kicked six unanswered goals to take the lead in the third term when Riewoldt popped up at the end of a beautiful chain from a centre clearance and slot a major.

"He's an all-rounder now. He goes forward, he runs through the middle of the ground and he's an elite athlete," Healy said.

After two weeks of gutsy, confident performances, Brisbane's start to the game was less than ideal.

The Lions looked uncomfortable early on, struggling with St Kilda's pressure, with turnovers and rushed balls aplenty coming out of their defensive 50.

Fox Footy commentator Gerard Healy highlighted one particularly worrying incident, when the Lions turned the ball over from a kick-in.

As the first quarter went on, St Kilda hit the scoreboard more frequently - though not for a lack of endeavour from the Lions.

News Corp Australia


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