All hail Max King: St Kilda star boots four goals in final quarter as Saints erase 25-point deficit to stun Richmond
- St Kilda came back from 25 points down to beat Richmond 117-84
- Max King kicked all his four goals in the fourth quarter as the Saints surged
- Jade Gresham and Jack Steele starred for Saints, finishing with 32 disposals
- Tigers lost co-captain Dylan Grimes to a hamstring injury in third quarter
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten declared Max King has the ability to turn a game on its head like few others after the 21-year-old exploded for a second straight week to lead the Saints to a comeback AFL victory against Richmond.
The Saints fought back from 25 points down in the third quarter, including kicking 10 consecutive goals, to beat Richmond 18.9 (117) to 13.6 (84) at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
While Brad Crouch led a standout midfield effort to get the Saints back on level footing, King, who was goalless for the first three quarters, tore the game apart to deliver victory.
Max King booted four goals as St Kilda came from 25 points to beat Richmond
After his rapid-fire three-goal burst in the win over Fremantle last week, King sprung to life in Sunday’s final term, booting four goals and hauling in six marks to complete the 58-point turnaround.
It came after Richmond had lost co-captain Dylan Grimes to a hamstring injury in the third quarter.
‘Some of the elite players or the very good players of the competition have the ability to change games, whether it’s only two possessions, three possessions or 10 and Max is one of those players who can do that,’ Ratten said.
‘He’s still growing but he’s pretty exciting when he launches at the ball.
The Tigers looked to be in complete control before the Saints surged back into the game
Richmond lost co-captain Dylan Grimes to a hamstring injury in the third quarter
St Kilda kicked the last 10 goals of the contest to win by 33 points at Marvel Stadium
‘The great thing was he kicked a few big goals to give us a little bit of breathing space.
‘Everybody expects Max to do everything every week and he’s a young man still developing. But to see glimpses of that and he is a very good player, but he’s still building. So it’s great to see.
‘Some of his attributes, to be 204cm and run around and launch at the footy and do what he does, it’s pretty special, but he’s still got a lot of growth.”
Jack Steele starred for the Saints, finishing with 32 disposals and 606 metres gained
Ratten said it was ‘good to trial’ all of Paddy Ryder, Jack Hayes and Rowan Marshall in the same team but stopped short on saying he’d repeat the tall line-up.
Jack Higgins was substituted out with concussion after a first-quarter tackle from Hugo Ralphsmith.
But Ratten didn’t think there was any additional concerns over Higgins, who had two rounds of brain surgery in 2019, beyond standard concussion protocols.
Ratten also confirmed Jack Billings had a “setback” with his hamstring injury and would miss another two-to-three weeks.
Counterpart Damien Hardwick lamented poor contest work and pressure and noted Richmond had struggled to cover losing Grimes.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick lamented poor contest work and pressure in the loss
‘After that loss we had to shuffle a few magnets and it didn’t quite work for us,’ he said.
“The last quarter […] our backs [were] trying to defend one-on-one when they’ve got electric ball movement.
‘So that was the game in a nutshell, the last quarter. You can lose contests but your pressure’s got to be high and our pressure [wasn’t]. If you lose both of those, you’re always going to be in a bit of trouble.
‘It is frustrating but for three quarters it was pretty bloody good.’