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Ross Lyon’s simple summary of St Kilda’s Bulldogs “aberration”


St Kilda put up arguably its worst performance under Ross Lyon against the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night.

The Saints were obliterated from the outset, conceding seven goals in the opening quarter, and could never get back on level terms in the eventual 60-point defeat at Marvel Stadium.

It was the team’s third game in 11 days and they were going up against a Bulldogs side that had been slayed by the media, but had played decent footy in recent times, aside from last weekend’s second half against Essendon.

Saints coach Lyon attempted to sum up simply why his side floundered like they did in conceding 19.10.(124) and only conjuring 9.10.(64) themselves.

He admits there was an element of caution entering the fixture because he hadn’t been reading the same story of Luke Beveridge’s Dogs as others had.

“I can explain it a little bit,” Lyon told reporters.

“I’d like to think that’s on us. Our trend, if you look at the group over 30 games, we haven’t had one performance like that.

“We were a little bit worried coming here. The demands of the game, and I don’t want to use excuses, but I certainly was cautious.

“I’d flagged in the pre-game interview that it was our second four-day prep. I spoke about the Bulldogs and how I couldn’t understand the noise around them.

“You get the Champion Data analysis and they’re one of six teams whose attack and defence is above average and they’ve played pretty good opponents. They had a flat second half against Essendon.

“We knew they were capable, we knew how they played, they had a couple of good players out in (Jamarra) Ugle-Hagan and (Tom) Liberatore who everyone respects, and we lose (Max) King.”


Lyon further tipped his hat to Beveridge’s side, while making it clear that the physical demands of the game, particularly with multiple matches on short turnarounds contributed to St Kilda’s downturn.

He also pointed to one glaring stats category in which the Dogs demolished the Saints.

The victors took a massive 148 marks to St Kilda’s 74 which tells a tale of outride dominance, according to Lyon.

“Coming here I felt they had backs to the wall off a six-day break,” he continued.

“Our accumulative load for our experience and our youth, the physiological demand is extreme. That was the worry.

“I thought our contest was ok but they really put us to the sword on the outside. Their centre square bounce work was very good.

“We played the best ranked team in the competition the week before and went right to the end. I don’t want to make excuses, because I want to give credit to the Bulldogs, but certainly with my group there was no angst after the game.

“But we’ve got to prove it’s an aberration and that there were a lot of mitigating circumstances that really challenged us.

“We’ll look to respond, we’ll lick our wounds. I really feel for our fans and our members because all they see is the performance, and ultimately that’s all we’re judged on.

“There’s a lot of numbers that tells they just beat us on the outside. That’s my simple summary and that’s basically what I said to the players.

“We need to respond. If anyone can say that (performance) is typical of us, I’d defy them strongly and really fight to the last breath to say that’s not true.”

The Saints slipped to 2-4 as a result of the 10-goal defeat. They’ll be intent on bouncing back against Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval next Friday night.

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