Bullocking St Kilda midfielder David Armitage wants the football world to give the Saints credit for their 58-point win over Fremantle.

St Kilda caused the upset of the season on Saturday afternoon when they thrashed Fremantle, knocking them from second spot.

Given the Saints are bottom of the ladder, talk quickly turned to whether the Dockers had taken them lightly.

Armitage said his experience under Dockers coach Ross Lyon told him that Fremantle would have been ready to play, but they would have been shocked at how well the Saints performed.

"They would have backed themselves in to get the win, but I don't think they disrespected us," Armitage said. "I think we turned up and they didn't match us for contest and pressure.

"We really got on top in that area and that's what surprised them. We held the foot on the throat and kept going."

Armitage said the return of senior players to the team in recent weeks had been important in the victory.

St Kilda had almost 2200 games of experience on the field, including nine players who had chalked up at least 100 games.

When the Saints lost to West Coast in round 13, their squad had played fewer than 1700 matches.

Armitage is one of the 100-game players who has missed a large portion of the season, with the 26-year-old restricted to 10 matches because of a gashed leg. He said there had been a clear difference in how the team performed once experienced players became available.

"Early on in the year when we were going well, we had a compilation of all of those senior guys playing, including our leaders," Armitage said.

"Sammy Fisher coming back in makes a huge difference.

"He organises the back line and is a solid unit. That leadership is all we can do.

"Myself, Lenny (Hayes), Joey (Leigh Montagna), Schneids (Adam Schneider) have to lead from the front and hopefully the kids jump on board. They certainly did."

Though few people gave the Saints any chance of beating the Dockers, Armitage said his team was always confident.

He said the players felt the scoreboard against North Melbourne in Hobart last Saturday week didn't truly indicate how well St Kilda had played.

The Kangaroos won by 59 points, but St Kilda kicked 3.15 and achieved a lot of their internal indicators.

"It didn't look it on the scoreboard, but in a lot of areas we wanted to work on, we actually were pretty good last week," he said.

"We restricted North to under 50 inside-50 entries and they're a good team."

"I think we turned up and they didn't match us for contest and pressure.""St Kilda's *David Armitage *

The West Australian

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