St Kilda forward Anthony Caminiti’s three-match ban for an off-the-ball hit on Collingwood’s Nathan Murphy should serve as a lesson in self-control, his coach Ross Lyon says.
A disappointed Lyon has reminded Caminiti of other ways to take out his frustration in the face of extra attention from opponents after an impressive start to his AFL career.
The 19-year-old will miss Sunday’s first-versus-fourth clash with Carlton, as well as games against Port Adelaide and North Melbourne.
Experienced forward Tim Membrey is set to take Caminiti’s place in the side, having overcome a knee injury that sidelined him early in the season.
“It’s disappointing to lose any player,” Lyon told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s part of his learning curve. He’s been on the radar, he’s got plenty of press.
“(Collingwood) are a good team and they were hungry, they defended him strongly.
“There’s physical contact, sometimes as a forward you get buffeted a bit and you react.
“It’s how you react. It’s a good lesson for him to control what he can.”
St Kilda were successful at Tuesday night’s tribunal hearing in arguing Caminiti’s high strike on Murphy was careless, rather than intentional as it was initially graded by the match review officer.
The AFL had pushed for a five-match suspension if the original grading was upheld by the tribunal.
Murphy was concussed in the incident and will miss Collingwood’s Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon.
“My personal opinion, I think you can talk about it now, I don’t think it was intentional,” Lyon said.
“That was clearly deliberated that way, so it’s about right for the outcome.”
Lyon has since had a quiet word to Caminiti, offering the rookie-listed 196cm forward some advice about life in the big league.
“In this business you get hunted pretty quickly. I just spoke (to him about) different ways with your frustration, how to pass it on,” Lyon said.
“It doesn’t always have to be a direct opponent as you pass it on to the opposition.”
Caminiti has kicked seven goals in five appearances for St Kilda since being recruited in February through the supplemental selection period.
Lyon expects captain Jack Steele to put his hand up to return against Carlton after undergoing surgery on a broken collarbone last month.
“The specialists gave him the extra clearance yesterday, so he’ll train today and Friday and play (on Sunday),” Lyon said.
“He’ll probably go head-to-head with (Patrick) Cripps. I’d expect two great ball-winners to go at it.
“Both of them will have their moments but it’s about our system versus theirs, really.”