We have mental strength say Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We have mental strength say Saints

By Robert Grant 29/09/2010 02:53:21 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda will again go into the AFL grand final against Collingwood as the underdogs but star playmaker Lenny Hayes says the Magpies have already glimpsed the Saints' mental edge.

The Norm Smith Medallist said St Kilda has as much "upside" in this Saturday's replay as Collingwood, despite their much-vaunted player list.

Collingwood burst out to an early lead in the first half but were reeled in by the determined Saints who forced a draw.

And Hayes says that second half is likely to be playing on the minds of the Collingwood group, which should even out the ratings.

"I think the way that we played in the second half was really pleasing for us," Hayes said.

"A lot of people would have written us off at half-time but I think the most important thing is all the players believed that we could get back into the game.

"I think that showed a lot of mental strength to do that.

"But how much that counts for on Saturday ... I don't think it will count for too much.

"It's a new game. They dominated the first half and we came back in the second half so how it sits, it's pretty even."

Hayes said that despite the physical nature of the clash and the build-up, the players would have no problems producing another special effort.

"I think once that final siren went we were like, geez we've got to go through this all over again.

"But the season's been pretty long so what's one more game - and when you've got the biggest prize of all at the end of it I think it's pretty easy to get up for.

"Everyone's pulled up pretty well which is encouraging.

"It was a really physical game but I'm feeling great at this stage of the week."

Hayes notched 32 possessions and 12 tackles to edge out team-mate Brendan Goddard for the Norm Smith Medal but he is not promising to repeat that effort on Saturday.

"Some days you're going to have a really good game and you might get a bit of the ball and other times you can do something else for the team that's going to be really important.

"I'm not going to be going out there trying to do exactly what I did last week because every game's different and, who knows, you can get an injury in the first couple of minutes," Hayes said.

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