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Lyon post-match Q & A - Round 4 v West Coast

Lyon post-match: Rd 4 v Eagles Ross Lyon spoke to the media following the RAC Derby.

Ross do you feel like you should have won that?
No not particularly. I thought they were really efficient early. They’re very good from their back half if you’re not organised. So what we planned for, we didn’t quite get right with our backs. But then they tightened that up and we fixed that problem but a little bit of damage was done. They scored a few goals out of centre back which hasn’t really happened to us, but once we tidied that up I thought we competed, not perfect, but quite well and got more composed with the ball. We were just rushed a bit early – a bit excited really. You want to flood but they’re very good if you just turn and you don’t know what you’re turning to. So I think once we played with more composure and then the second half we fixed up our composure on entry as well, we certainly challenged them more but we desire to finish more efficiently. They just made us pay early but from there I thought we were right in the contest. We were all a bit frustrated but look, they’re the reigning premier, very efficient, very strong team, so I was pleased with the way we never gave up. But that’s been reflective in all of our performances. Our effort and team dynamic is incredibly strong at the moment, we are nurturing that really well. We believe in our mechanics but our team spirit and effort is very strong. But in saying that we will review sharply, aim to improve and you can’t breathe out. We’ve got GWS who are in red-hot form so we need a sharp review, learn our lessons, keep the effort, keep the chemistry and move on.

You matched the premiership favourites in a lot of areas – was that heartening?
I’ve been heartened for a long time. Our shoulders’ been to the wheel, it’s certainly turning. How quickly? None of us are sure. We won three of four quarters, it’s dangerous to look everything in isolation, you want to look at trends, but if you think of the first four weeks, we’ve been in every match, our team spirit’s been really strong and our leadership. With no Fyfe today, Hamling went down, so I thought Walters, Mundy and Alex Pearce were super. There were some really big, hard efforts at the end there – Hogan’s head over the ball, Duman’s head over the ball, Cerra’s head over the ball. We certainly respect the reigning premier and we knew we were going to be challenged and we found out a lot and we learned a lot today. The important thing is we take that into our next performances and we need to keep improving obviously.

What was the story with Hamling?
It was a concussion, I didn’t really see the incident, I think he’s hit his head on the turf and got some blurred vision. He’ll go through the same protocols that everyone does, hopefully the symptoms settle, when the symptoms settle you can go through the cog (cognitive) state and once you’ve passed that then you’re eligible to play. That clearly leads to your next question which is Nathan (Fyfe). Nathan never got the cog state because he wasn’t symptom free so hopefully at some point, he’s symptom free which he probably is now. He’ll then sit the cog state and if he clears it, he’ll play, so it’s a binary yes or no answer on that.

Do you have any idea on what sort of chance Nat will be next week?
None, it would be dangerous for me to speculate, I’d be in unchartered waters.

Did Nathan Wilson come off with a leg issue?
No, I think it was a cramp, they give them some pickle juice and they get back on.

Are you clear of injury besides Hamling?
I haven’t had the review, I walk back in and the doctors will tell us. It looks ok on the surface. I saw Wilson, it was after that big spoil on the far wing against Cripps I think so you always hold your breath a little bit. We have had some challenges in that space but we’re certainly fighting on

You touched on Mundy’s role, what about his game for a 33-year old with no Fyfe to get 36 touches?
I don’t think age comes into it, once you’re in you’re in. You commit, I think too much is made of age, I was looking at (Josh) Kennedy before and I thought about how everyone used to write people off once you turned the other side of 30 but, 33, they seem to get it done, the incentive’s there for them obviously professionally to look after themselves. At 33 they’re still young men but we tend to label pretty quick, more so in this country I think, if you look at international sports they tend to play longer. 

Mentioning inefficiencies with ball movement, they sneaked in a bit last week against St Kilda, is that something coaches can do anything about?
We have a program, in the end players own their own development. There are some challenges and there’s a lot of comments wrapped around the yellow ball, I don’t know I don’t play so maybe the yellow balls have changed, we’ll have to speak to Sherrin. It was a muggy night, it’s a hard, short-grassed surface, there’s lots of mitigating circumstances but in the end, you have to own your own craft and you’ve got to get cleaner and you’ve got to kick it better. 

How do you find the balance with Lobb in the ruck and Taberner pinch-hitting goals?
It seems okay but it’s a weekly judgement we’ll make. We thought it was ok tonight but we’re not set in stone with it, we’ll make a weekly assessment.

What the clearance numbers have evened out more tonight if Fyfe had played?
If you went to entries from clearance and score, there was one quarter where I think everyone had seven clearances but no one had an entry, it was one entry all (to each team), so it’s about how you take it away and if you’re scoring. But they scored two out of their defensive mid in their back half in the first quarter, but even that can turn into a slow play so, look, Nat would have made a difference but Jetta would have made a difference to them.

What’s your overriding emotion Ross, are you pleased or frustrated?
I don’t know, I’ll have to get back to you.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs