A frank Ross Lyon says he is uncomfortable in the way his side — in the search to regain its "sizzle" — is currently playing, with a first-half “mundaneness” ultimately contributing to another loss by less than a goal.

Today’s five-point defeat to the young Hawks marks the third time the Saints have gone down by less than a straight kick this season; today’s encounter and a previous clash against GWS punctuated by sluggish opening halves and subsequent late revivals after half-time. 

However Lyon remains disappointed in his side chasing their tails after half-time despite willing themselves back into the contest to force close finishes, preferring his side take the game on from the get-go — and potentially lose a game late as seen in Round 3 against Essendon — rather than sit idle.


“I’d just like to have a bit more than what we’re displaying at the minute. It doesn’t sit very comfortably,” Lyon said post-game.

“I just spoke at half-time that I didn’t really like how we were playing. I thought there was a mundaneness to it, a sameness, and I just said ‘we’re better than that.

“Let’s get some run, some overlap and go and be bold. I thought the kids started to use their legs and cut in, and even though we stuffed a couple up, I thought that’s want we want to be more (like).

“It’s just our connection piece, I didn’t like it. I thought we created some opportunities, but it was again some inability to cash in.”

The Saints almost pulled away with the four points in the final term, with Max King almost clunking a mark that would have given his side a set shot at goal with less than a minute on the clock.

That contest was one of several in the game’s latter stages which could have given the Saints a half-chance, however Lyon was firm in his belief that it was the disappointing opening half — coupled the Hawks’ midfield fight — which let his side down in the end.

SAINTS MATCH CENTRE: View all news, stats and videos from Round 9

“I thought they were stronger when being tackled, they could extricate it, they were cleaner. I thought they probably edged us in that regard.

Could we have won it in the end? Yes, there were a couple of decisions but we don’t want to focus on it (being) a close loss.

- Ross Lyon

The Saints now sit with a 3-6 record with matches to come against Fremantle and Melbourne as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round in the next fortnight.

“I sit here really disappointed, disappointed for our fans. I’d rather play like we did against Essendon at three-quarter time with plenty of sizzle. We could have been five up. I don’t like how we’re playing at the minute,” Lyon said post-game.

“We don’t send them down with placards saying ‘don’t take the game on’. You’ve got to drive the car and go quick, but to be honest I’d rather us going over the hill again.

“Criticism will come and that’s fair enough.”