Saints finish fast to draw with GWS in AFL

Roger Vaughan
Paddy McCartin (L) has helped St Kilda storm home for a 73-73 draw in their AFL match against GWS

St Kilda have been left ruing a controversial umpiring decision in the last few seconds of their AFL draw with Greater Western Sydney.

Giants co-captain Phil Davis spoiled Jake Carlisle, who felt he should have taken the mark about 40m from goal.

Front-on vision of the incident on Saturday shows Davis caught Carlisle across his neck, but the umpire was blindsided.

The siren sounded immediately after their contest for the first draw of the season, with the Saints kicking 10.13 (73) to the Giants' 9.19 (73).

"I just feel like I should have marked it," Carlisle told Fox Footy.

But Saints coach Alan Richardson thought Carlisle deserved the free kick, which would have given him a very gettable shot at goal after the final siren.

"I actually thought it was a free kick - I'm sure the vision will show as much," Richardson said.

"I probably carried on a little bit too much.

"I don't tend to worry about umpiring decisions but when there's two seconds left on the clock, there's nothing else to worry about."

Told of Carlisle's reaction, Richardson added: "That's a great response - that's true."

A scrappy match under the Etihad Stadium roof looked set for a Giants win despite a much-improved effort from the Saints, when GWS led by three goals midway through the last term.

Then the Saints went on a three-goal run, while Toby Greene also kicked a behind for the Giants.

Jade Gresham's behind for the Saints tied the scores with two minutes left.

GWS went into attack before St Kilda burst clear inside the last 30 seconds.

Had Jack Steven's pass been just a little lower, Carlisle may well have taken the mark.

St Kilda were coming off three bad losses and attracted only 14,956 fans.

But despite the improvement, Richardson was left lamenting an opportunity lost.

"That's a bitter pill to swallow, when you give yourself an opportunity, but in all reality we haven't been flying," he said.

"Clearly that's an understatement and against a quality team ...we played in a way to give ourselves an opportunity."

Giants coach Leon Cameron said they were probably lucky to escape with two premiership points.

"Our backs basically saved us, I reckon," Cameron said.

While St Kilda won the inside 50s 67-46, their forward set-up was again the weak link.

But key forward Paddy McCartin kicked three goals in an AFL match for the first time, including a crucial one in the closing minutes.

Richardson also noted it was the first time the No.1 draft pick had played five AFL games in a row.

The Saints lost Jack Newnes with concussion in the first term. GWS ruckman Dawson Simpson will be under video scrutiny for their clash, which put the Saint out of the game.

Giants defender Nick Haynes was also hobbled by a corked thigh.

St Kilda's Steven and GWS wingman Brett Deledio starred with 29 disposals apiece.