Saints look ahead with confidence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints look ahead with confidence

By Roger Vaughan and Adam Cooper 26/06/2010 02:35:31 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda are yet to learn how good they are, says coach Ross Lyon - but the AFL grand final rematch gave some excellent pointers.

The Saints were outstanding in the second half of Friday night's sodden match at the MCG, beating reigning premiers Geelong by 24 points.

Lower-profile St Kilda players such as defender James Gwilt, small forward Jack Steven and Jarryn Geary were prominent in the win.

It was a strong showing of St Kilda's improved depth as they await the return of captain Nick Riewoldt from his hamstring tendon injury.

Utility Jason Gram (groin and hamstring) is another key player still recovering from injury.

"We've always had belief, haven't we? Our win-loss over the last year and a half tells you we're a reasonable team. How good a team we are we don't know yet," Lyon said.

"It's always nice for your youth and for your members to see it's not all about Nick Riewoldt.

"It's nice to see an ability to bring some players on - (Rhys) Stanley, Jack Steven and Gwilt and Geary and (Sam) Gilbert and (Ben) McEvoy - they're a handy little group.

"All clubs are trying to bring some players on, all clubs are under pressure with what's coming in through the door, so you've got to be able to develop your own."

But Lyon was quick to downplay the significance of the win, which left St Kilda level on points with the first-placed Cats.

He noted several key Geelong players were also missing Friday night's match through injury.

"They've got a bit of fat on the lamb haven't they?," Lyon said.

"Joel Corey's a star, (Brad) Ottens.

"But we've got Riewoldt and Gram who are pretty close and Zac Dawson's available.

"All you can do is play what's in front of you, try to bank four points, consign round 13 to history and move on to round 14."

St Kilda turned the game on its head in the third term, kicking five unanswered goals.

They looked in trouble when they trailed by 16 points at halftime but by three-quarter time they were up by 17 points in a low-scoring game.

"At half-time it wasn't really looking that great - I was more frustrated," Lyon said.

"I thought we were a bit hesitant at times and didn't defend that well.

"I spoke some home truths probably at half-time - not personally, but where we're at and how we were looking and I didn't like what I was seeing.

"I thought our effort was there but I asked for some good aggressive football and we did that - that makes me feel good."

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