Lions hold no fear for Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions hold no fear for Blues

By Melissa Woods 31/08/2009 04:34:45 PM Comments (0)

Travelling to Brisbane for their first AFL final in eight years holds no fears for Carlton, who are happy to escape September fever in Melbourne.

They will face Brisbane on Saturday night in an elimination final at the Gabba, where they have won their past two matches.

But the Lions are unbeaten in 11 home finals in their history - including massive wins over the Blues in 1996 and 1999.

Relishing their first foray into September action since 2001, the young Blues say they are up for the challenge of an interstate sudden-death encounter.

"We played well up there early in the year and also beat them early in the year down here so we'll take plenty of confidence going into Saturday night's game," said Marc Murphy.

The Blues slumped to a disappointing 72-point loss to Adelaide in the final round, which Murphy conceded was hardly ideal preparation for September.

The 2005 No.1 draft pick said the side had already put the match behind them.

"It's not how low you fall but how high you bounce and that's something Ratts (coach Brett Ratten) has instilled in us this week," Murphy said.

"That's the end of (regular season) games and now if you lose you're out.

"We're going in with plenty of confidence and looking at the positives rather than looking back, we're not going to dwell on that game too much."

As a life-long Blues supporter before he made his debut in 2004, fellow midfielder Andrew Carrazzo said there were expectations of success on the club and playing away from Melbourne could make them easier to handle.

"I grew up getting used to Carlton playing in finals every year and grand finals every few years," Carrazzo said.

"Maybe from the outside, from the public and media, there maybe would be a bit more pressure and expectation to win if we were in Melbourne," Carrazzo said.

"From our perception we obviously want to win and if we pay our best footy we expect to win.

"From where we've come I don't think it would matter if we were playing in Timbuktu, we'd like to play finals footy anywhere."

Ryan Houlihan and Brendan Fevola are the only Blues players remaining from the 2001 semi-final loss to Richmond.

Chris Judd, who led West Coast to the flag in 2006, is the most experienced Carlton player in finals with 11 matches.

The Lions, who enter the finals on the back of a gutsy eight-point win over Sydney, may have injured quartet Simon Black, Daniel Bradshaw, Daniel Merrett and Josh Drummond all sidelined for Saturday night.

Young gun Bryce Gibbs said the side would prepare as if those players were going to run out.

"It's probably too early to say whether the guys will come up," he said.

"For finals they'll do everything they can to get their bodies right, we'll probably plan as if we expect them to play," he said.

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