Tom Hickey of the St.Kilda Saints kicks the ball during the round two AFL NAB Cup match between the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on March 3, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Tom Hickey of the St.Kilda Saints kicks the ball during the round two AFL NAB Cup match between the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on March 3, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

Strong Saints down Swans in AFL pre-season match

NOT even a flurry of substitutes in the final quarter could save the Sydney Swans in their 0.13.12 (90) to 1.8.10 (67) loss to St Kilda at Etihad Stadium yesterday.

The visitors appeared to break the limit of 20 interchanges allowed for a quarter in the final term, but did not appear to cop a penalty for it.

It was a big scalp for the Saints, knocking over last year's premiers, but it may have come at a price.

Rhys Stanley hyper extended his left knee midway through the third quarter, and will have scans today to determine the damage.

And the Swans, who did appear to take the pre-season match seriously, rested key players Adam Goodes and Jarrad McVeigh.

The Saints trailed by two points at the final change, but finished far stronger than their opponents, booting the final three goals of the game.

St Kilda's midfield managed to get on top in the second half, led by Leigh Montagna (28 disposals) and David Armitage (20).

The hosts' forward line also functioned well in the absence of captain Nick Riewoldt, with small forwards Ahmed Saad (two goals), Trent Dennis-Lane (two) and Sam Dunnell (two) all proving hard to contain.



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