MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: The Cats look dejected after losing the AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 23, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Freo coach slams end of season bye

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says he AFL must scrap the end of season bye following Sydney’s comprehensive preliminary final victory over the Geelong at the MCG on Friday night.

The Swans ran out 37-point winners, thanks largely to a dominant and clinical first term blitz which saw them score 7.2 (44) to Geelong’s 0.5 (5).

Cats’ coach Chris Scott refused to blame the bye for his side’s poor start last night, however, Lyon believes the fact Geelong played just one game in 27 days leading into the match clearly had an impact on their performance.

“Once you break that cycle, it’s impossible to replicate an AFL senior game over that period of time,” Lyon said on Fox Footy on Saturday.

“It’s indisputable what you saw at the start of the game. It’s going to be a real issue. I think they have to look at the formula.

“You’ve got to be rewarded for winning the most games (and finishing) top-four. That’s been fundamental to the competition. But that’s now dissipated that advantage.

“It’s now a potential negative if you have the week off (and) win your first final.”

The bye week in between Round 23 and the first week of finals was implemented for the first time this season to stop teams assured of a finals spot resting a large number of players in the final round of the season.