St Kilda coach to get a look at Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

St Kilda coach to get a look at Swans

By Adam Cooper 28/02/2010 11:21:47 AM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon believes a pre-season clash against Sydney will be invaluable for when the two sides meet in round one of the AFL premiership season.

The Saints won Saturday night's pre-season cup game by one point at Etihad Stadium, and the 2.9.7 (79) to 0.12.6 (78) victory made for another arm wrestle between the sides.

Lyon said the Saints had plenty to work to do before they played Sydney at ANZ Stadium on March 27 but said a clash against a side coached by his coaching mentor Paul Roos was ideal at this stage of the campaign.

"You wouldn't want to play against any other team in the pre-season if you really want a contest," Lyon said.

"They play a hard one-on-one brand, there's no time or space and you've got to work hard for your possessions, so really its worth its weight in gold in regards to preparation for us."

Lyon was pleased with St Kilda's second half on Saturday night, as they overcame a nine-point deficit at half-time and Stephen Milne's four-goal contribution.

But he rated the Saints' work at clearing the ball from stoppages as poor and thought the defensive aspect of his side's game was patchy.

St Kilda and Sydney have a history of close tussles, as both games last year were tight - the Saints won by 15 points in round one, and one point in round 18 - and the Swans have twice won by two points in the past four seasons.

Both coaches know each other well, as Roos and Lyon were teammates at Fitzroy, and the latter served under his friend as an assistant coach with the Swans before he joined St Kilda.

"You know it's going to be tight and tough and it's certainly not going to be a shoot-out," Lyon said of the rivalry.

"You have to grind your way through and try as best you can to get some free-flowing football, and sometimes you've just got to get down and dirty."

St Kilda will play the winner of Sunday's game between North Melbourne and Fremantle in the semi-finals of the pre-season cup.

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