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Lions to go 'back to reality' for Hawks

By Laine Clark 14/04/2008 04:33:24 PM Comments (0)

It was a comeback the AFL won't see "for another 10 years" - if only coach Leigh Matthews knew how the Brisbane Lions did it.

Still scratching his head over how the Lions reeled in a 47-point third quarter deficit to down Port by 20, Matthews said Brisbane would "go back to reality" for Saturday night's Gabba clash with Hawthorn.

Matthews said taking on Port Adelaide before the ladder leading Hawks would put the Lions in good stead because of their similar styles.

But the Lions mentor warned supporters not to expect a repeat of their last round heroics at Adelaide.

"For some reason ... the blokes were able to conjure up a one in a 100, one in a 1000 maybe (result) - it's unusual," Matthews said.

"If we think we are going to be six goals behind next week and going to pick them (Hawthorn) up they are kidding themselves.

"At three-quarter time we didn't think we were going to win but that's not the point - the point is to go out and keep competing.

"We were emotional at the end of the game in terms of `how the hell did we do that?'

"Those set of circumstances are unlikely to be repeated for another 10 years."

Matthews was trying to play down the last round match but said aspects of it would be used to tackle the high-flying Hawks.

"It's good to play Hawthorn after Port because they are very similar in the way they go about trying to play," he said.

"They (Port) played a bit of Russian roulette footy really. They just ran down the centre corridor and handpassed it to each other.

"There were about six handballs where the tackle may be made but they got it off and ran it through - Hawthorn play the same."

But there's one telling difference between Hawthorn and Port - Hawks forward Lance Franklin.

Matthews admitted he watched in awe at Launceston's Aurora Stadium on Sunday as Franklin booted six goals to inspire Hawthorn's 44-point win over Adelaide to remain undefeated for 2008.

"Lance Franklin is kind of a freak. He's the kind of player people come and watch play," he said.

"At one stage he outmarked (192cm defender) Ben Rutten in a genuine contest and I thought to myself `God, that's scary'.

"He's just a unique physical specimen."

But Matthews was happy with his own firepower after Daniel Bradshaw's five-goal burst against Port took his tally to 16 from four games.

Not a bad effort from a bloke recovering from a knee reconstruction.

"I've never seen Daniel Bradshaw look better than he has this first month at any stage of his career," Matthews said.

"That doesn't quite make sense. If you didn't know he had missed 12 months with a knee injury then you couldn't tell by the look of him."

On the injury list, ruckman Jamie Charman (calf) and Ash McGrath (ankle) will be assessed this week.

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