Lions out to exorcise Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions out to exorcise Demons

By Laine Clark 26/06/2009 04:20:47 PM Comments (0)

No disrespect to Melbourne, but few teams have vengeance on their mind ahead of a clash with the AFL cellar dwellers.

However, the Brisbane Lions believe they have plenty to prove against the Demons at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Last season's shock one-point loss to Melbourne still hurts the Lions - especially after the defeat sparked a horror run that ensured they missed the finals for a fourth straight year.

Last round's thumping of 2008 premiers Hawthorn at Launceston was impressive.

But it seems the Lions have more to gain from a win over the Demons.

"For whatever reason, we seemed off the boil (in last season's loss to Melbourne)," Brisbane vice-captain Jed Adcock told the Lions website.

"I'm not sure whether it was complacency or not, but that loss caused the rest of our season to spiral.

"We only won two more matches for the season and missed out on playing finals for the fourth consecutive season.

"It was certainly a turning point for our year."

Lions coach Michael Voss has tried to play down the significance of last season's result ahead of Saturday night's game.

But Adcock made it clear the new-look Lions were using it as a significant springboard for 2009.

"This Saturday night we have a chance to redeem ourselves," he said.

"That particular loss still stings among the guys that were involved in the match and we feel as though there is plenty to prove against the young Demons side.

"We know that if we don't come prepared for battle at the Gabba this weekend that we will probably let another (finals) opportunity slip by."

Voss also tried to play down the significance of Melbourne's No.1 Draft pick Jack Watts being selected for his third AFL game.

Critics had claimed that Watts had been blooded too soon.

Even Watts' high school coach Robert Shaw has claimed the youngster is not ready for AFL footy.

Asked if he was surprised that Watts had been picked, Voss said: "Not really, but I don't know what they are trying to do with their team.

"Clearly they want to play young players (and) getting ground time into them is going to be valuable whether he is going well or not."

Voss also baulked when questioned if the Lions would target Watts.

But when asked if it was ludicrous that a youngster like Watts was under such intense scrutiny, Voss said: "It probably is. Okay, maybe not ludicrous but ..."

In another worry for Watts, the Lions welcome key defenders Daniel Merrett and Joel Patfull back from injury but have resisted the temptation to rush Josh Drummond (calf) into the side.

Jason Roe and Lachlan Henderson retained their spots in the back six after shutting down Hawthorn's big guns.

It marked a remarkable comeback by Roe who was axed following the Lions' embarrassing 93-point, round five loss at Geelong.

"It's a credit to him. And we've got a fantastic game out of Hendo too," Voss said.

"But we have given the kudos. Now it is about consistency. That goes for all of us."

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