Black looks forward to Geelong challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Black looks forward to Geelong challenge

By Laine Clark 29/04/2008 11:28:49 AM Comments (0)

Taking on Geelong at home is the toughest challenge in the AFL right now, but Brisbane co-captain Simon Black enjoys the old-style feel of Skilled Stadium.

Black said Geelong's "intimidation factor" reminded him of the aura exuded by his once mighty Lions.

But the classy onballer did not sound fazed by the task ahead.

"We used to win down there," laughed Black, referring to the Lions' winless run against the Cats since 2005.

"It's a massive challenge but we won't be intimidated by them. I think some teams have been.

"It's almost like suburban footy when you go down to Geelong.

"It's like an old town and stadium ... and they are very parochial, very passionate supporters, Cats fans."

It's not quite up there with Lions coach Leigh Matthews' now famous "if it bleeds, we can kill it" line of 2001.

However, Black's attitude demonstrates the rebuilt Lions' quiet confidence of 2008.

The Geelong clash on Saturday has already drawn comparisons with the Lions' now legendary 2001 game against then defending premiers Essendon.

Seven years ago Matthews delivered his famous "if it bleeds" quote in the match build-up.

The Lions went on to cause an upset, gaining the confidence to go on an incredible run of three straight premierships.

Black did not say history would repeat itself.

But he certainly did not back down from the daunting challenge they faced at Geelong.

"It is certainly not going to be a case of the game is over before it starts," he said of tackling defending champs Geelong, winners of 25 of their last 26 games.

"We have to go down there with a bit of confidence, not just thinking they are the premiers and flying.

"We have an enormous amount of respect and know we have to be at the peak of our powers to give it a shake.

"(But) we did it against Essendon in 2001."

The Lions cruised to a 3-3 record and into the top eight with a 52-point thumping of win-less Melbourne on Sunday at the Gabba thanks to Black's game-high 36 possessions.

Black - who is expecting to be tagged by Geelong's Cameron Ling - said the Lions had plenty of improvement left in them.

"We probably haven't played four solid quarters enough this year, but it's a challenge for us to go down (to Geelong) and do that on Saturday," he said.

"When you play good sides like that, you just have to worry about the start of the game, worry about the moment you are in and keep getting in there and getting the footy without being intimidated."

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