- from afl.com.au
HAVING seen his side come agonisingly close to upsetting the Hawks in a three-point loss in Launceston last year, Saturday's big win at University of Tasmania Stadium was particularly satisfying for Saints coach Alan Richardson.
The young Saints played Hawthorn off the park from start to finish and ran out deserving 75-point winners thanks to a dominant midfield led by Jack Steven and dangerous forward line spearheaded by 700-goal veteran Nick Riewoldt.
"We almost got there against the Hawks last year so the boys are, we are really pleased," Richardson said following the victory, which was the largest ever recorded over Hawthorn in Tasmania.
"That was three and a bit quarters of really good, strong footy today, so we're pleased.
"We felt we had an opportunity to win the game, it was only three points last year. I think to beat Hawthorn anywhere is a strong performance."
On the way to denying the Hawks a staggering 20th consecutive victory in Launceston, St Kilda was able to dominate possession and constantly hassle the opposition into making turnovers.
They enjoyed 82 more possessions than the Hawks, won the tackle count by 61-44 and dominated every major statistical indicator on the way to a comfortable win.
"That was as good as we've hunted the opposition for a while," Richardson said. "I know when we had the opportunity to tackle, we were really strong and really positive. For big parts of the game our pressure was really high."
After former Western Bulldogs midfielder Koby Stevens booted his first goal for the Saints just after half time, the floodgates opened as the Saints piled on a further seven goals and the margin had blown out to 68 points by three-quarter time, sealing the win and rewarding the visitors for their hard work.
For Richardson, seeing his players capitalise on their dominance around the ground was the highlight of the day.
"That third quarter the guys were able to get reward for their effort, so that was pleasing," he said.
"In terms of footy and control, we looked like we were in front, certainly in front on the scoreboard (and) it was pleasing to get that sort of performance.
"It was positive to win on the road, it was positive to bounce back and square your season up in terms of win loss 3-3.There was a bit of pressure on the club this week given the performance in the last quarter last week.
"There was a lot of grit, a lot of sprit in that performance."