x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Dogs' missed shot gives Cats life

St Kilda and Geelong Cats have still to be beaten after the Dreamtime round nine, although both clubs would be breathing sighs of relief.

St Kilda and Geelong Cats have still to be beaten after the Dreamtime round nine, although both clubs would be breathing sighs of relief. On Friday night at Etihad Stadium, the Western Bulldogs threw the Cats their greatest challenge for the season, coming back from 37 points behind to lose by two points after their captain, Brad Johnson, missed a set shot after the final siren. Jason Akermanis, playing his 300th game, and Johnson both kicked four goals for the Dogs, and Steve Johnson booted five for the Cats.

And yesterday, the Saints overran a determined Brisbane team that had made far better use of their forward opportunities to lead by nine points early in the last term, before a burst of three goals put St Kilda back in the driver's seat. They went on to win by 16 points, with Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke banging through four apiece. But the Bulldogs hold third spot on the ladder despite the loss, behind the Saints and Cats. They lead the other five teams in the top eight by percentage only, all six having chalked up five wins.

Hawthorn, whom few pundits would have tipped to be outside the four, are in seventh after strolling home for a 22-point win against Melbourne yesterday. The Hawk back man Beau Muston, in his seniors debut, impressed with 31 touches. pstafford@thenational.ae