Saints in NZ: The exhibition match

On 5 October 1991 St Kilda played  a post-season exhibition game against Geelong in Auckland.

The clubs were both on the rise at the time a month earlier they had contested an epic final.

Some of the bigger names on both sides were not on the park that day.

Tony Lockett was in Queensland racing his greyhounds, and Stewart Loewe was having a knee “clean-out” after a long season.

Geelong had an even longer absentee list and went into the match without  Gary Ablett, Paul Couch, Garry and Steve Hocking, Damien Bourke , Mark Bairstow and Andrew Bews .

Because the Western Springs ground was much smaller than a  normal oval – essentially it was 110 meters wide and set inside  a velodrome – the game had modified rules with 16 players on the field and six interchange.

A strong first quarter by Geelong set up an eventual 13 point win.  The Cats booted six goals in a 10 minute burst in the final term and won by 12.11(83) to 10.10 (70). Robert Scott and Gavin Exell kicked three goals apiece for the Cats while St Kilda’s best players were Frank Coghlan, Bret Bowey, Mick Dwyer and Danny Frawley.


By Luke Holmesby