Lions ready to halt Saints march: Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions ready to halt Saints march: Voss

By Laine Clark 18/05/2009 03:51:24 PM Comments (0)

For the first time in his fledgling coaching career, Michael Voss is talking up the Brisbane Lions.

And it seems they will need all the motivation they can get ahead of their daunting trip south to take on the unbeaten ladder leaders St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

But Voss reckons the lessons learned from their "Geelong debacle" barely a month ago have steeled his side ahead of AFL's equivalent of Mission Impossible.

Since being mauled by the Cats by 93 points, the Lions have won three straight to crack the top five with a 5-3 record.

It's not quite as impressive as the Saints' 8-0 tally.

However, it is the Lions' best start to a season since 2004.

"It (Sunday's game) is (between) two sides who have had a really good month," Voss said.

"St Kilda have been going at it a bit better than us, but I won't undersell us.

"I think we have improved our game style and brand of football over the last month to a pretty good standard.

"Now we have to be able to raise the bar, set a new standard for ourselves - we get a chance to do that against St Kilda."

Such confidence would have been unheard of just three weeks ago after the Brisbane Lions were kept to their lowest ever score at a freezing Skilled Stadium.

"We learned a lot of lessons from our Geelong debacle," Voss said.

"We go down there against a team that is playing equally well as Geelong.

"So it's a nice challenge.

"But make no mistake, we are going down there to win the game."

Voss' only concern was an injury cloud over fullback Daniel Merrett (ankle) - the last thing the Lions coach needed after losing key defender Joel Patfull (broken jaw) for up to four weeks.

Scans this week will finalise Merrett's availability.

"One is not so much a concern but two (defenders missing) would be a fair bit more interesting for us," Voss said.

Lachlan Henderson and Jason Roe are "options" to step in if Voss' worst fears are realised.

"It will be a nice hostile environment for us, so we need players who can survive that sort of pressure," Voss said.

Voss has been further buoyed ahead of their Saints clash after watching his side combat Adelaide's zone defence in a 36-point win last Saturday night.

And Essendon's brave 19-point loss to the Saints last Sunday provided Voss further food for thought.

"I admired the way Essendon played against them. They weren't afraid to move the ball, they took chances at times, they certainly didn't look intimidated by what St Kilda were trying to do - they tested them out," Voss said.

"(And) we have kicked 18 goals against that type of zone. That's a pretty good feat based on the style that Adelaide play.

"If there's any good dress rehearsal to playing St Kilda, I think we just had it."

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