Ugly win easy on Lyon's eye - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ugly win easy on Lyon's eye

Laine Clark 22/04/2011 12:05:47 PM Comments (0)

Glimpses of his once mighty AFL side were enough to encourage St Kilda coach Ross Lyon.

But Lyon did not see enough to convince him they had turned the corner in Thursday night's 13-point victory over the win-less Brisbane Lions.

In a match hardly worth the blockbuster Easter Thursday billing, the Saints avoided being dismissed as bunnies by finally breaking their winning drought at the Gabba.

The Lions were left to rue missed set shots by Matthew Leuenberger, Aaron Cornelius and Jack Redden in a third term they dominated as the Saints reeled in a five-point deficit at the final change.

It wasn't pretty, but Lyon still liked what he saw - at times.

"To come to the Gabba under those sort of conditions, in the humidity, and obviously not in form - it's pretty courageous," Lyon said.

"And (we were) under pressure at three-quarter time.

"I think you see the heart still beats a bit, and I think we take a bit out of that.

"How much, I'm not too sure."

Onballers Leigh Montagna (33 touches) and Brendon Goddard (26) impressed while Adam Schneider had three majors and 25 disposals to help the Saints get over the line.

"I thought our top liners really got going," Lyon said.

"(Nick) Dal (Santo) broke his tag and dominated that last quarter and Goddard, Montagna, (Nick) Riewoldt, (Zac) Dawson - all our leaders stood up.

"Normally we've been like that for two years, those players doing that.

"So maybe they've turned the corner a little bit as well."

There were still some worrying signs, namely from Sam Gilbert.

His error-riddled performance was perhaps typified in the first term when he threw the ball into the ground in frustration after being pinged for running too far, giving away a 50m penalty and the Lions' first goal.

Lyon said his advice to Gilbert and Schneider, who also gave away a 50m penalty, was simple - "pull your heads in".

Justin Koschitzke - in his first game of the season after overcoming ankle surgery - was limited to just five touches up front largely by dominant Lions defender Daniel Merrett.

But Lyon believed his side would go into their next clash against the Crows at Adelaide with confidence.

"I just thought we dominated the last quarter, but that's what we should do for the team we're aiming to be and where they're at in their development," he said.

"I think we take a bit out of that.

"(And Alistair) Smith and (Rhys) Stanley and (Jack) Steven and (David) Armitage get to see what the business is about and understand where they need to improve."

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