Ross Lyon has saluted his side’s willingness to button down and learn from last week’s imperfections in order to oust the reigning premiers in comprehensive fashion.

The Saints had just five days to rest and reset between Round 1 and Round 2, but hit the ground running in Thursday’s Spud’s Game to edge out the Magpies by 15 points; the sizzling on-field display stemming from a dedicated off-field approach to learn from their past encounter against the Cats.


“We feel like (we’ve) created an environment of ‘safe to fail, but create excellence in learning’, and they learn really well,” Lyon said post-game.

“We didn’t give up last week but our method was a bit off, so we just buttoned down, really got our press game going and really got to work pressing the ball and creating a lot of turnovers.

“I thought we buggered it up (with our ball use) early with some real simple errors either end of the ground when we had good opportunities. 

“It was a step forward. We’ve got plenty of work to do, but confidence comes from action and we delivered the right actions tonight. We were pretty relentless from start to finish.”

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Lyon said the Saints “went to school” on multiple areas throughout the five-day period, praising the work of his assistant coaches for finding the chinks in the reigning premiers’ armour.

St Kilda punished Collingwood on turnover with 12 of their 14 majors coming from its intense presses forward to close down the latter’s space and force uncharacteristic skill errors.

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“If you’re a reigning premier you’ve got clear signatures that you need to deal with, and I think the competition - it’s maybe taken a while - is starting to see those signatures. Often it’s hard to stop, but tonight we did a pretty good job of that,” Lyon said.

“I thought we held our nerve and continued to attack, we didn’t send any numbers back, and we continued to press forward.”

The only major sour note came just minutes into the contest after an ugly incident which saw Mason Wood stretchered from the field and subsequently taken to hospital.

Wood, who spent several minutes on-field being assisted by medical staff, is believed to have suffered a suspected collarbone injury on top of the concussion sustained from the mid-air impact with teammate Zaine Cordy.

Liam Henry also received treatment in the final quarter, however Lyon was hopeful it was just a case of “severe cramp” which needed attending to.

“Without alarming anyone… it was pretty courageous (from Mason). He knocked himself out and broke his collarbone we think, so that’s not good for him. 

“We’re concerned about him. He’s a good lad.”