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Lyon praises goal-kicking midfielders

By Adam Cooper 04/04/2010 04:32:30 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has praised his midfielders for the role they played in Saturday's 104-point AFL demolition of North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

The Saints showed no ill-effects from the absence of suspended forward Justin Koschitzke with midfielders Brendon Goddard, Brett Peake, Nick Dal Santo and Leigh Montagna, filling the void left by the 27-year-old, who will miss two more games following his rough conduct charge against Sydney last week.

Goddard booted four goals, Peake kicked three with Nick Dal Santo and Leigh Montagna making notable contributions with a goal apiece.

Last year's beaten grand finalists kicked eight goals without a miss to start the game, then had the luxury of calling on skipper Nick Riewoldt, who was magnificent after quarter-time and finished with seven goals and 15 marks.

Lyon revealed after the game that improving the goalscoring contributions of his midfield was something he and his coaching staff had addressed before the start of the season.

"We spoke about it in the pre-season, about pushing Dal Santo and Montagna and (Jason) Gram and Goddard forward," Lyon said after the 23.5 (143) to 6.3 (39) win, which improved St Kilda's percentage from 109.09 to 188.18.

"Goddard was the one (last) night that spent a bit more time forward and they had plenty of supply, didn't they?

"The game really opened up and you've got to discount them a little bit, but you can only do what you do at this level."

Lyon said the challenge for St Kilda's attack was to maintain its scoring prowess against Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

The Saints were the best defensive side of 2009 and the Magpies second-best.

"It was very pleasing to have a spread of goal kickers and the aim's going to be to do it against a quality team in defence who work really well together next week," Lyon said.

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