Ross Lyon speaks to the media after St Kilda's match against North Melbourne in R19, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA coach Ross Lyon has criticised the decision to leave the Marvel Stadium roof open ahead of its match against North Melbourne, saying both clubs were "treated with contempt".

The roof was closed for the clash on Sunday evening, but rain in Melbourne the night before and in the morning - when Lyon said the roof was open - had left the surface slippery and difficult to play on, according to the Saints coach.

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In a measured criticism after his side had held on for a narrow win, Lyon said the condition of the surface meant the ball was "like a cake of soap" and contributed to a scrappy affair.

However, North Melbourne coach Brett Ratten, asked separately post-game, said he hadn't noticed anything unusual about the condition of the ground.

"I'm pretty sure if it was Essendon-Bulldogs on Friday night, they wouldn't have left the (roof) open all night and all morning," Lyon said.


"This ground is like a carpark and hard at the best of times. You could see, anyone that watched that game, the ability to pick it up, it was like a cake of soap for both teams.

"So really disappointed. We rang the ground manager pre-game, they didn't know why the roof had been (left open). Seats were wet for fans.

"I think our broadcasters have a right to be disappointed. I think if it was the MCG, it's OK, because the ground's got give in it and it's not like an ice-skating rink.

"Whoever is responsible for that, hopefully they get their processes right because clubs are so process driven ... I thought we got treated with contempt, both clubs."

"It (the ball) was like a cake of soap," he said. "I thought we got treated with contempt, both clubs."

Lyon also lauded the courage of Brad Hill, who went to hospital for scans on his chest after a fearsome bump from North's Aiden Corr in the first quarter.


The incident is likely to come under match review scrutiny, but Lyon said it appeared a fair bump.

"I'd prefer him to jump out of the way, rather than lose him, but he stayed on-line and Corr really nailed him - which is all fair and square," Lyon said.

"I hope our members and everyone involved in the club saw what he stood up for.


"I know there's been criticism of Brad at St Kilda. All I know is he's a three-time premiership player (at Hawthorn), stood up in the biggest games and runs himself to death.

"It's pretty significant if you go to hospital ... (possibly) ribs or lungs."

Ratten did not bite when asked for his personal feelings about the loss, given St Kilda sacked him last year after re-signing him only weeks earlier.


"Really, it's more about the process for the club," he said. "It didn't matter who the team was."

Ratten said the Kangaroos showed plenty of the fight lacking in last week's loss to Hawthorn.

"It feels like a maiden horse at the moment - you keep going to the races and you can't win," he said.

"But when you win one, you might win two, three and four.

"We just can't get it done."