With 68,000 people in attendance at the MCG on Saturday, there were high hopes for the Saints in the 2023 Finals series. As we’re now aware, those hopes were in dashed, as the GWS Giants moved beyond the first week and into the Semi-Finals.
The Giants set up their win with an eight-goal rampage, and through it all, Ross Lyon remained calm in the coaches’ box. It was as though he was coaching his team through a preseason contest, looking for ways to improve, areas that he could tighten up, and a way through the game plan the Giants were executing so well. There was no panic, however. It was almost as though he knew this was a big step, yet still just one step on the journey he and this team would take.
And yet, even with GWS looking like the better team, the Saints mounted a challenge in the third quarter behind increased pressure and a rediscovered hunger for the footy. Still, as the Saints moved to within range, Lyon looked nonplussed. The crowd outside the box and all over the MCG were pumped, and by God they were loud, but the man in charge watched on, impassive.
He knew what the 2023 season was. This finals appearance was just a bonus. His plan is only in its formative phase.
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