Lions prepare to out-run Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions prepare to out-run Blues

By Jim Morton 01/04/2009 07:26:15 PM Comments (0)

The Brisbane Lions believe they have got the monkey off their backs and will be a far steelier fourth-quarter outfit in 2009.

Preparing to meet Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, the Lions aim to avenge last year's harrowing round 21 meltdown against the Blues which ended their finals hopes.

Brisbane conceded a 32-point lead at the final change to lose by six points at the Gabba - the fourth last-term fadeout of the season which left the club with a reputation as chokers.

New coach Michael Voss has worked hard to get his team to play a cool and calculated possession-maintenance game when in front at the death and they passed their first test by holding on for a nine-point win over West Coast.

It wasn't pretty, allowing the Eagles to kick 2.0 to 0.5 after leading by 16 points at three-quarter time, but Brisbane didn't cough the ball up easily like 2008.

Utility Mitch Clark, who denied there was extra motivation to pay Carlton back for the last-start capitulation, believed the Lions were a far more confident front-running outfit.

"We spoke about that over the pre-season, to sort out our red-time footy and that's something we wanted to improve on and it's something we feel like we did against the Eagles," Clark said.

"We're confident we can run out games. We feel like we did that over the pre-season and we're confident in our training that we did over the summer."

Brisbane are preparing as though Carlton skipper Chris Judd will play at near his best despite being laid low by the 'flu.

"Even at 50 per cent he's one of the best players in the comp so we'll have to be mindful of him," he said.

Playing on the wing, Clark's 18-disposal game against the Eagles was his best possession game since making his debut as a first-year key forward in 2006 - kicking five goals away to Geelong.

His 23-match career has been plagued by injury and he's determined to build on the 12 straight games played in 2008.

Since having minor knee surgery before Christmas, Clark has mainly been used on a wing by Voss, prompting some commentators to claim he could develop into a Matthew Richardson-type utility.

"If I can be half as good as him I'll be a pretty happy," Clark said.

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