Suns' defence high on agenda for Bock - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns' defence high on agenda for Bock

Darren Cartwright 04/05/2011 03:26:25 PM Comments (0)

Rebuilding respect for Gold Coast's defence is high on fullback Nathan Bock's agenda when he returns from suspension against the Brisbane Lions in the local AFL derby on Saturday night at the Gabba.

Bock said he felt partly responsible for the Suns' demoralising opening against Essendon last Sunday when they conceded 15 goals - an AFL record for a first term - for not being available because of a one-match ban.

He said the opportunity to restore faith in the backline could not have come at a more important time with the Suns also wanting to crush southeast Queensland rivals Brisbane in their first clash.

"It was a bit disappointing, that first quarter in particular," Bock said.

"Our three quarters after that were reasonable but obviously that first quarter was disappointing.

"I felt sorry for not being out there for the boys and obviously being suspended and I let them down in a way.

"Not being a part of it and letting them go through that pain, I felt a little bit responsible. We won't let that happen again."

Bock steered clear of the controversy ignited by Brisbane veteran Simon Black who on Monday labelled Suns' recruits and former teammates Jared Brennan and Michael Rischitelli 'mercenaries' for leaving the Lions.

The former Adelaide defender said Black's brave words would be part of any derby build-up and similar to what he experienced in the showdowns between the Crows and Port Adelaide.

"Coming from Adelaide I've been involved in a few showdowns in my career and they've always been a big build-up and big games, similar to finals-type atmosphere," Bock said.

"No doubt the clash between us and Brisbane is going to be just as big.

"Brisbane have come out early in the piece and built this clash between the two teams up. There is going to be that rivalry for top dog."

Young emerging Lions' ruckman Matthew Leuenberger, who played his 50th AFL match on Saturday, also refused to verbally spar with the Suns, saying that's a battle for others to fight.

With the winless Lions languishing at the bottom of the table, the 22-year-old said there were more important things for him to be worrying about than sledging his local rivals.

"It's going to be a bit strange running around against those two boys (Rischitelli and Brennan)," Leuenberger said.

"Where we sit on the ladder, we need a win and then you have the hype over the first QClash and there is a lot at stake for both clubs.

"It's not really different to any other team, but you can get sentimental towards it.

"Some players would probably have a bit of a grudge towards them (the Suns) but I am looking past that and at the win which is what we really need."

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