Jack Higgins plays on for THREE MINUTES despite being struck by another concussion blow as St Kilda put on third quarter blitz to move into the top four after huge win over Geelong
St Kilda’s reputation as third-quarter specialists has continued, with the Saints blitzing the Geelong Cats in the third term at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
While the Cats kicked two of the opening three goals of the term to push out to their biggest lead of the contest, the Saints hammered in five consecutive goals off the back of centre clearance dominance to turn the tables on Geelong. It was the eighth time the Saints have won the third quarter this season.
It was a total avalanche from St Kilda, with 20 inside 50s and seven goals to four, steering them to the lead after trailing for most of the match.
The win arrested a two-game losing streak from the Saints that included a narrow loss to Port Adelaide in Cairns and last week’s defeat to the unbeaten Melbourne Demons.
However, St Kilda could be facing scrutiny after leaving concussed small forward Jack Higgins on the field for three minutes despite his history of head knocks and brain surgery.
Higgins was subbed off during the second quarter with a concussion and replaced by injury emergency Marcus Windhager. It is a worrying sign for the Saints given Higgins’ history with concussions.
The small forward has already missed a game this season through concussion protocols after copping a knock from Richmond young gun Hugo Ralphsmith and required surgery on a brain bleed from concussions in 2020.
It was complicated surgery that could have resulted in permanent paralysis or even death for the young forward who admitted he had been playing through headaches at the time.
Compounding the Saints’ woes, inspirational captain Jack Steele also left the contest with a suspected injury to his right shoulder. Steel was tackled over the sideline by Geelong’s Jake Kolodjashnij. He immediately left the field and went straight up the race for assessment but did not return in the first half.
Commentator Cameron Mooney said the hit on Higgins was innocuous, but it took three minutes before St Kilda took him off the field.
‘The two Jacks are gone at the moment but Steele looks like he might come back out,’ he said in Fox Sports commentary at halftime.
‘Higgins is the one that happened about halfway through that quarter, he took a little bit of a hit from Kolodjashnij.
‘It wasn’t much of a hit but we know that he’s had some surgery in the past, Jack, so we do wish him all the best.
‘But this happened and about three minutes later he was still in the play and then got subbed out after that.’
Steele later returned in the third quarter with a heavily strapped shoulder