What comes to mind when you think of this weekend’s game between St Kilda and Melbourne?
It might be the last time they played against each other or perhaps a previous occasion that presented a memorable moment.
Each week, Aflplayers.com.au will bring to light the perspective of someone at the heart of a memorable moment from a game played between two sides before their upcoming clash.
Leading by two points after rushing a behind in the final quarter of their Round 11, 2015 clash, St Kilda were itching to keep the ball out of the Melbourne forward line.
But a Jeremy Howe mark inside forward 50 and proceeding goal saw the Demons hit the front with 41 second to go.
Entering the next centre bounce, the Saints needed something and fast, knowing full well that it would become harder to steal back the lead as each crucial second passed.
St Kilda midfielder Jack Steven was in that centre bounce, and as it turned out, was a vital figure in the following 40 seconds. Steven spoke to Aflplayers.com.au about his recollections of the final moments of the game.
“I remember Jeremy Howe kicking that goal and thinking we’re in a fair bit of trouble here .
“Big Josh Bruce was in the ruck and we all knew we just had to get it forward. We were going to run one of our normal plays, we didn’t do anything special. I was struggling a bit that day but you’re only thinking about influencing the last contest.
“I was the sweeper at the centre bounce and I got pretty lucky that the ball flicked out the back on the wrong side of my opponent so I just booted it and chased after it. There was a lot of luck involved to get that clearance.
“I was pretty happy to see Joey near the ball, he usually doesn’t miss from anywhere let alone the goal square.
“That whole scenario was pretty memorable for me rather than the entire game because we literally had 40 seconds to get a goal and I can’t remember being part of something like that before.
“We then went into defence mode and tried to waste as much time as we could and obviously we did a good enough job of that to get the win.”
The following week, Melbourne ventured to Kardinia Park to play Geelong in Corey Enright’s 300th match.
Having not won a game in Geelong in a decade and the Cats’ dominating the competition in recent times, the Demons weren’t given much hope of securing a victory.
But Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn says the close loss to the Saints the previous week helped pave the way for one of the club’s most spirited victories in the modern era.
“That was the mental turning point,” Gawn told Aflplayers.com.au.
“I tapped the ball in the centre bounce to Jack Steven who charged forward and got the goal assist for the winning goal.
“I got sprayed that game for a few things I did that a ruckman shouldn’t be doing. I had a point to prove the next week against Geelong, who had their ruckman out of the side, but there was a mental change before the game even got underway the following week.
“As the siren went, I knew I was going to make amends.”