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Lyon post-match Q & A - Round 8 v Tigers

Lyon post-match - Rd 8 v Tigers Ross Lyon spoke to the media following the loss against Richmond.

Where do you think the game got away from you?
The start in AFL footy is always critical. They kicked 4.1 from their first five entries. I thought they were really active. You always talk about what’s coming and ‘don’t be ambushed’ and be active and hard, and in that period we missed some fundamentals, some first gives, some short 50/50s and their pressure was so strong that they capitalised. We reeled that in, it takes effort - which gives them some confidence. Their pressure I thought from start to end, they out-tackled us really and hunted us really well. That’s a signature and we knew what their signatures were and I thought, early, we allowed that to happen and then we fought back. Then the most under-rated stat is accuracy in front of goal. I thought they took their opportunities when we could have taken some of ours, really. But I thought they just got out on us a bit, we didn’t make them defend well enough. So they had plenty of energy to really surge it forward and they ran in waves, which we knew, we should’ve been able to handle it. They were the two things – the start (and) conversion. I thought they were harder and pressured stronger for longer than us. So we’re disappointed. We win and lose together, there’s clear areas on the review, so we will have a sharp review, we need to learn our lessons. It’s a six-day break, we need to gather ourselves, pick our team and get over to Essendon on a Saturday night at Etihad (Stadium), which will be fantastic for us.  

They were down to 20 men in the fourth quarter, did you feel like you were still a fair chance?
It’s a good point, they handled their adversity really well. But just when we looked like we were coming, they scored and took their opportunities. All credit to them. We haven’t done what we’ve wanted to do so we’ve got to drive that through a bit stronger. We got the ball back centre-forward a huge amount, that’s an area of territory, get it back and  get entries from attacking from the midfield. I think we had 20 entries they had 10 in that area. We have been strong all year at the centre bounces, they kicked five goals to our two so that was unusual. Both teams scored from stoppages around the ground so the game throws up some anomalies. The start of the game and their conversion are the two simplest things. 

When the conversion aspect isn’t going your way what goes through your mind in the box?
There are other things we can control, we can do the basics well. We can spread the ball better than we did today. I thought they had plenty of energy, their pressure made us surge but there were times we could have made them defend more than we did. So therefore on the counter punch they we were a bit more organised defensively but we weren’t. 

Did you see the incident with Nat Fyfe on Tom Lynch, there was a bit of a raised arm?
I didn’t see it. There was so much going on in the box.

Is Connor Blakely physically not ready for AFL football or do you not see him in your best 22 at the moment?
I think that’s an emotive statement. Connor is a very good player, he’s had nine months off, he had a big torn tendon in his hamstring. He’s played two WAFL games and is building nicely. Our form has been quite strong, but we will get to Connor. Connor at his best, and he is building to his best, is an important part of our 22. We really value his ball winning and ability to play half-back and anywhere. Clearly, we didn’t get the job done tonight or last week  so now we’ve got a couple of weeks in a row where we can have a look at things. Integrity in selection is really important, when people have been doing jobs you reward them. As jobs aren’t being done you give other people opportunities. There are more people other than Connor down there, we will have a look at it.

Does the WAFL bye interrupt him?
No, they did a match sim (simulation) today that he would’ve punched out. In some ways (he could have) been in more contested efforts than a lot of our guys were today, so we back ourselves in the conditioning. We think the work will soak into him, is it this week coming? Maybe. Is it the week after? Maybe. I don’t know but it’s probably a little bit unfair to speculate for everybody at this point.

How did you rate Fyfe’s game in general tonight?
I haven’t got to it, I thought he was quite inspirational, led attack on the ball, typical Fyfe game I thought. They probably had more weight of numbers that were up and about but sometimes how you use the ball doesn’t allow some of the other players to shine so we’ve got to have a look at that.

Three goals for him, how pleasing is it to see him capitalise on that?
Incredibly pleasing, we love him to hit the scoreboard, he’s a very good player. We love him, he’s our captain.

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