Saints, 'Roos hunting each other - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints, 'Roos hunting each other

By Roger Vaughan 29/06/2011 05:07:13 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon suspects his team is hunting North Melbourne as much as the other way around.

Their twilight AFL clash at Etihad Stadium this Sunday comes at a crucial stage of the season for the two teams.

North are just out of the top eight and are on a roll with four-straight wins, but they have a terrible record against the Saints.

St Kilda are coming off the bye - a big problem for teams this season - and were regaining form before the break.

While the Saints are 13th and only have four and a half wins from 12 games, they are on the tail end of a tight battle through the middle of the ladder.

They sit only two wins behind eighth-placed Melbourne.

St Kilda have won nine of their last 12 games against North and easily beat them twice last season.

"They've made big inroads, they've won four in a row, they're looking for five," Lyon said of North.

"We're a scalp they traditionally haven't been able to get lately, maybe once or twice.

"They'll probably see us as a scalp, but where they're at now, we're probably hunting them just as much."

The Saints have won three of their last five games and felt they were competitive against top sides Geelong and Collingwood.

"Certainly we're, in a weird way, in the mix aren't we - with 10 games to go we're capable," he said.

"We've shown against the best we're not out of our weight division ... we haven't given away the season."

The form of captain Nick Riewoldt remains a talking point and he only managed seven touches in their last game against Geelong.

Riewoldt spent some time training away from the main group on Wednesday, doing extra ball work with Raphael Clarke.

Lyon said the issue was as much about the ball supply to Riewoldt in attack as it was about how the captain was playing.

"He's been steady and he's had some good games - (against Geelong) he worked really hard, but we didn't actually kick it to him much, I think we only kicked it to him nine times inside forward 50," Lyon said.

"He's not quite at those lofty standards, but I'm sure if he keeps working hard, he will attain them at some point."

St Kilda won their previous game after the bye, narrowly beating Brisbane in round five.

Lyon said unlike back then, the club had given the players plenty of time off over the last week.

They were allowed to travel, provided they stayed fit.

"They spend time anywhere they like and do what they want, as long as they keep their physical conditioning up - that's a trust issue and traditionally we've been able to deliver on that," Lyon said.

"If you're taking a shortcut, we'll soon find out Sunday 4.40 against the Kangaroos."

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