Sizzling Saints face their acid test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sizzling Saints face their acid test

By Guy Hand 19/04/2009 02:09:19 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon's mantra heading into the most challenging three weeks of their impressive AFL season so far is simple - keep competing and winning.

Lyon's Saints have powered to an impressive unbeaten four-match start to the season.

But their opposition so far has been questionable - their last two rivals West Coast and Fremantle little more than featherweight punching bags for a Saints outfit whose tackling pressure is setting new benchmarks.

While their wins over Sydney and Adelaide were also marked with similar intensity, matches against in-form Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood in successive weeks will go a lot further towards franking their premiership credentials.

Lyon knows the bar is about to be raised, and has urged his team not to let up.

"You're going to be put under more extreme pressure than we have been against teams that are in red-hot form. Have we played any of them? I don't know. But it's certainly coming," Lyon said.

"It's a marathon. We're 4-0 and we're rapt, but we know there's bigger challenges ahead of us.

"If we stop working hard, you come down to earth fairly quickly.

"You've got to keep competing and winning. If you don't you're in trouble."

The Saints have won their past two matches against the Eagles and Dockers by a combined margin of 180 points, or 30 goals.

St Kilda's latest 83-point savaging of an inept Fremantle has raised the stakes for Friday night's clash with Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Lyon is wary of a Port side which played in a grand final two years ago and upset premiers Hawthorn at the weekend to post their third win in four matches.

"It's obviously a big game. They're 3-1, we're 4-0 and we really rate them a potential top four team," Lyon said of Port.

"We're playing good footy and we go over to AAMI Stadium, a big stage, it's an exciting time for the club."

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