What cross-code war?: Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

What cross-code war?: Voss

Laine Clark 06/05/2011 07:42:53 PM Comments (0)

Try telling Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss a cross-code war is raging.

The NRL has drawn a line in the sand with the AFL, scheduling a Broncos-Melbourne clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night - the same evening of the inaugural Lions-Gold Coast Suns derby at the Gabba.

For good measure, the NRL ensured the Gold Coast's Skilled Park hosted Friday night's trans-Tasman Test in another crack at stealing the AFL's thunder.

Even usually-conservative Broncos coach Anthony Griffin did his best to promote the rivalry on Friday, taking a subtle dig at the AFL derby - a match-up between the second-last Suns and dead-last Lions.

"I think if people want to see a team that's been consistent and playing some good football and being entertaining ... they're going to see a real good game of footy at Suncorp Stadium," said Griffin, who will coach second-placed Brisbane against third-placed Melbourne.

But Voss seemed oblivious to it all after inviting Storm coach Craig Bellamy and their football manager Frank Ponissi for a brain-storming session on Friday.

Bellamy and Ponissi surprised reporters when they arrived at the Gabba ahead of the Lions' Friday training session, then disappeared into their dressing room.

"They are having a look around - you are always looking cross codes and what they do, looking at clubs and the successes they have had," Voss said.

"Certainly the Storm have had that (success). They do something right - anything we learn off them is going to be pretty important."

Certainly the Lions (0-5 record) need all the help they can get before taking on upstart newcomers the Suns (1-4).

In fairness to Voss, the Lions are the latest pit stop for the Melbourne pair which has consulted clubs in Australia and overseas to broaden its horizons.

Voss dismissed the code war supposedly erupting around him as an "admin chest beat".

"We are used to it, the cross codes. I think it might be an admin chest beat," he said.

Asked about the clash of games in Brisbane on Saturday night, Voss said: "I know which one I would like to go to."

So confident are the Suns - who will host the AFL derby - of boasting a club-record 30,000-strong crowd, they are reportedly resisting the temptation of a mass ticket giveaway.

Suns chief executive Travis Auld insists the only free tickets will be standard allocations to club sponsors and players' friends and families.

And the AFL will be backing the Suns to pack the Gabba after the Broncos made the bold call to not pick any of their five Test players - including skipper Darren Lockyer - for the Storm clash.

But Griffin did not seem fazed by the prospect of a bumper Gabba crowd.

"I'm not sure how many the other mob are going to get," he said.

"But regardless of who we put out tomorrow night we're playing for keeps and I'm sure the Storm are and it will be a really good clash to go and watch."

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