Saints beat Roos, post 11th straight win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints beat Roos, post 11th straight win

By Adam Cooper 06/06/2009 06:37:10 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda have reached where no other Saints side has been, but coach Ross Lyon wants his AFL team to forget milestones and keep improving.

The Saints extended their unbeaten start to the season by beating North Melbourne by 46 points at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but despite now boasting a club record 11-game winning streak, they still strive to lift.

Beaten badly out of the blocks, it took the Saints 31 minutes to post their first goal, by which stage North had kicked five.

But St Kilda dominated from that point and, aided by North's wretched injury toll, turned an early 29-point deficit into a comfortable 15.13 (103) to 9.3 (57) victory which should keep them atop the ladder at the end of round 11.

Justin Koschitzke continued his strong season with a career-best six goals, a haul which included the major that drew his side level in the third quarter and, soon after, the one which gave his side the lead.

Koschitzke's strong marking took the heat off skipper Nick Riewoldt, who was well beaten by North's Josh Gibson early but kept working hard and finished with three goals and 14 marks.

The work rate and ball-winning of Jason Gram, Leigh Montagna and Lenny Hayes also ensured the Saints powered away to a seven-goal final quarter.

The Saints' streak is significant for a club with only one premiership win and that has only once before posted a winning streak of 10 games, in 2004.

Lyon acknowledged the achievement, but in chasing the club's first flag since 1966 said the Saints could not afford to be content yet.

"You need little goals along the way," he said.

"We just recognised that since 1897 no other St Kilda group has won 11 in a row.

"I said `take it as a little milestone and now leave it behind and start preparing for (playing) Carlton, Friday night is a pretty big game'."

For a while it looked as though St Kilda were content with matching the start they produced in 2004 as they were forced into error by North, who were efficient in attack.

But Lyon labelled the win comprehensive and was pleased his side not only lifted when challenged, but wouldn't let slip the standards they set in the first half of the season.

"Not on the indications, I don't see any drop off," he said.

"We had 66 tackles, plus-20 contested balls, 58 entries and I didn't see anyone jump out of the way.

"We're going pretty hard at the footy and we're working pretty hard without it and again, our (ball) use needs to improve."

St Kilda could even be bolstered for the clash against Carlton, as Lyon was confident in-form defender Sam Gilbert would return from an ankle injury and small forward Stephen Milne would overcome knee soreness.

Michael Gardiner will be available after serving a one-game suspension, which will be timely as fellow ruckman Steven King is likely to come under scrutiny from the match review panel for an off-the-ball clash with North's Sam Power.

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