Lyon sees benefits in first loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lyon sees benefits in first loss

By Roger Vaughan 16/08/2009 09:58:15 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon could see immediate benefits from his powerful side's first loss of the AFL season.

Captain Nick Riewoldt missed a tricky shot at goal after the final siren on Sunday evening at Etihad Stadium, meaning Essendon won by two points and the Saints' bid for the first perfect season was over.

Lyon admitted after the 16.14 (110) to 16.12 (108) loss he was pleased there would be no more "noise" about their winning streak, which ended on 19.

He also sees the upset loss as a good sting for his team a fortnight out from the finals.

The Saints will finish minor premiers and have a healthy list, with no injuries out of Sunday's match and seven players rested last weekend for the win over Hawthorn.

"We've been fantastic at staying in the present, preparing, respecting each opponent and trying to improve our football," Lyon said.

"But we talk about how you can lose going forward or you can win going backwards.

"Our last loss was pre-season, we lost by 80 points so we learnt a fair bit out of that.

"If we had won today, I reckon it would have distracted us a little bit from the issues at hand, so we get to lose going forward, I would think."

Lyon insisted ongoing talk about the streak had not distracted the team but he was clearly pleased the topic was now over for the season.

"It certainly gets rid of the streak - one less article a week will be nice," he said.

"There's just a lot of noise out there about it, so the noise will be a little bit less.

"Certainly we haven't been distracted, because our performances tell us that.

"We'll take 19-1, there's a lot to be positive about this group and we got through injury-free, we've got two weeks to get our best form back."

At the other end of the top eight, the win meant Essendon replaced Port Adelaide in eighth spot.

Following the losses this weekend to Hawthorn and Sydney, the Bombers and the Power are the two main players for the last finals berth.

Essendon, who play Fremantle away and Hawthorn at the MCG, have a half-game break over Port.

The notoriously-inconsistent Power end their regular season with a trip to Brisbane and then North Melbourne at home.

Carlton smashed Port Adelaide on Sunday by 54 points, 18.13 (121) to 9.13 (67).

Sydney and Hawthorn are a game and a half behind Essendon and can still make the finals, but the Bombers must first lose twice.

One bonus for Port, Hawthorn and Sydney is that Essendon have severe injury concerns coming out of Sunday's win.

Dustin Fletcher and Courtenay Dempsey suffered hamstring injuries and Patrick Ryder hurt his knee, with all likely to miss the next two games.

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