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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Eagles overrun by Saints

St Kilda have overturned a 33-point deficit midway through the third quarter to stun West Coast by 20 points in a rousing comeback at Marvel Stadium.

Coming off the most embarrassing defeat in Brett Ratten's tenure as coach, the Saints produced a scintillating turnaround to boot the last eight goals on Saturday and storm over the top of the tired Eagles.

Young forward Max King came of age with a career-high five-goal haul, while skipper Jack Steele was heroic with 33 possessions as the Saints won 15.12 (102) to 13.4 (82) to at least partly expunge the memory of last weekend's 75-point capitulation to Essendon.

Few people would have bet on the stirring resurgence, with West Coast seeming to be cruising towards their third victory of the season when Jack Petruccelle snapped his fourth goal 16 minutes into the third term.

But the Eagles would not register another score until 17 minutes into the final quarter as St Kilda's exciting brand of football hit top gear to completely change the contest.

The Saints controlled most of the game in general play but West Coast were more efficient going forward early.

But once St Kilda started using the ball better inside-50, the floodgates opened as their small forwards, led by Dan Butler (three goals), recaptured form.

"It was really pleasing to think what we dished up last week to then play like that and stick to the task," Ratten said.

"We could have given up but the players knew what they did last week; win, lose or draw, we have to bring that.

"That was a bit of a blueprint. We're going to lose games of footy, every team does, it's just how you go about it."

Rowan Marshall made a welcome return to boost St Kilda's flailing ruck stocks, but he sent a scare through the Saints camp after heading down to the rooms for the last 10 minutes of the second quarter.

But Saints medical-sub Ben Long was not needed as Marshall returned to play out the game.

West Coast lost captain Shannon Hurn to a calf injury in the first quarter, with debutant Isiah Winder replacing the veteran defender.

Winder did not see a lot of the ball but capitalised when he did get it by kicking his first career goal early in the second term.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson was left perplexed by his side's second-half fadeout.

"When we could have put the hammer down, the belief was still there with the Saints. It was there all day and they showed tremendous heart, and we couldn't stop it," he said.

"Entries inside-50 was just so stark so all of our forwards probably dried up a bit in the second half."

St Kilda face a rebounding Richmond on Thursday night, while the Eagles are back at home for a round-five clash with Collingwood.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.


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