Saints set to strengthen for final trip - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints set to strengthen for final trip

By Adrian Warren 02/08/2009 02:15:38 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon is looking forward to welcoming back some additional firepower against Hawthorn next week in what looms as his unbeaten AFL team's final interstate assignment of a special season.

The ladder-leading Saints have the chance to make it six out of six outside Victoria after shading the Swans by one point in Sydney on Saturday night.

The Saints have no more interstate games on their home-and-away log after next Saturday's Aurora Stadium fixture and, with the minor premiership seemingly at their mercy following 18 straight wins, they are unlikely to venture outside Melbourne again after next weekend.

On their travels so far, the Saints have beaten both Adelaide teams, Melbourne on the Gold Coast, West Coast in Perth and the Swans in Sydney.

"Good teams win interstate and we think we are a good team, so it's a fantastic effort," Lyon told reporters at his post-match media conference.

One Saint used to winning in Sydney is former Swan Adam Schneider, who kicked two goals just after halftime on Saturday to help the visitors overturn a seven-point halftime deficit.

"We've got a really good interstate record in the last two years, I think we're a pretty professional team who has really worked out how to travel well and play well," Schneider said.

He said there was a "little friendly banter" with some of his former team mates and he wasn't concerned at being booed by some Sydney supporters, saying it was "just footy these days, you've got to expect that kind of thing".

While ruckman Steven King and forward Nick Riewoldt collected knocks against the Swans, both were expected to be fine for the game against the Hawks in Launceston.

Lyon was also looking forward to regaining players from injury and suspension.

"I'd like to think (Michael) Gardiner and (Zac) Dawson will play next week, which is very exciting," Lyon said.

He felt the tough hitout against Sydney was a preview of what his team could expect in September.

"We're preparing really well for finals football, because every game is like that, it's intense and it's hard," Lyon said.

"At some point you are going to be challenged and you are not always going to play perfect footy.

"A lot of credit to the Swans, they took it up to us, but I think they go away thinking they are a reasonable team and should be able to fight out the year, no doubt."

Sydney coach Paul Roos felt it was probably his team's best performance of the year.

"For some of our young guys it was a great experience, they will only be better for it," Roos said.

With Sydney suffering two narrow losses to the Saints, Roos expected rival coaches would closely scrutinise the way his team had performed against the unbeaten Victorian club.

The loss almost certainly ended Sydney's finals prospects, but they still took confidence and encouragement from their performance.

"At least we know we can take it to the best teams, so now we've just got to keep moving forward," Sydney defender Heath Grundy said.

"The last four games are pretty important to us, we've been a little bit off this season, so we need to keep building up for next year."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news