Lions usher in 'fresh start:' Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions usher in 'fresh start:' Voss

By Laine Clark 12/04/2009 01:20:37 PM Comments (0)

The last time Sydney met Brisbane in 2008, the Swans brought an inglorious end to Lions master coach Leigh Matthews' career at the AFL club.

On Saturday night at the Gabba, the Swans unwittingly helped kick-start a "fresh start" under Matthews' replacement Michael Voss.

The Lions' gutsy 33-point win broke the Swans' five-year hoodoo over the club.

But it appears stats alone could not measure what it meant to Voss and his emerging Lions.

Matthews walked away after 10 glorious seasons at the Lions following the Swans' 61-point thumping in round 22 last year.

It ensured Brisbane had not beaten Sydney since round one, 2004.

However, Voss all but drew a line in the sand ahead of Saturday night's game after a hot and cold season start - and his players responded.

"It was important to say this was a fresh start for us," Voss said.

"As far as we're concerned it was zero-all and we had to come in with that intent and try a new way.

"We respect Sydney a lot, and we want to play that way.

"But (Saturday night) was the way the Brisbane Lions want to play."

Showing no repeat of the lapses that had marred their first two games, the Lions exerted enormous pressure to nullify the likes of Adam Goodes and Barry Hall.

Joel Patfull in particular was impressive, limiting dual Brownlow Medalist Goodes to 18 largely ineffective disposals.

Voss rated it "the best team effort we have had".

"It's a new fresh start, new coach and a new style so it was very pleasing to see everyone gel together and do their part, and not rely on any one individual," Voss said.

"And that's what it was going to take to beat a team like Sydney.

"When you look at the history of how the Lions have gone Hall, (Ryan) O'Keefe, (Brett) Kirk and Goodes have really hurt us.

"But they didn't hurt us as much (on Saturday night)."

Swans coach Paul Roos believed the Lions were entering a "new phase" after enduring a finals drought since 2004.

"We are going through a different phase with some younger guys coming in and Brisbane are probably coming out of that phase," he said.

"Under Leigh over the last two years he was getting game time into guys like (Bradd) Dalziell, Patfull and (Michael) Rischitelli.

"When they start it is very hard for them to understand just how consistent you need to be to put pressure on.

"But they are coming out of that phase now.

"If they can play with that intensity, they will win a lot of games this year."

Strike weapon Jared Brennan is set to return from injury for the Lions in Friday night's home clash with Collingwood.

"You never ever want to be in a situation where someone misses out on a game when you get an effort like that," Voss said.

"Everyone contributed to the result and I don't think we have had that to this point."

Matthew Leuenberger (knee) is set to miss "a couple of weeks" but fellow ruckman Jamie Charman will be back from the reserves.

The Swans' only injury problem was Jared Crouch (hamstring).

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