Voss to use Geelong clash as benchmark - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Voss to use Geelong clash as benchmark

Jim Morton 16/07/2011 11:51:07 AM Comments (0)

Geelong built their success and toughness by modelling themselves on the Brisbane Lions' all-conquering 2001-03 team but now the boot's on the other foot.

Lions coach and triple-premiership-winning skipper Michael Voss will use Sunday's clash at the Gabba as a benchmark game for his battling side.

With the Cats coming off surprise back-to-back losses and wet weather forecast, Voss has put his players on notice to emulate the physicality and on-field dominance of the 2007 and 2009 premiers.

Not only are Geelong the biggest threats to Collingwood defending their premiership, but no other club has regularly dished out bigger hidings of the Lions in the past two seasons.

"Geelong used the Brisbane Lions way back when as a benchmark for where they were at and to me it's reversed - we've got a good benchmark game," he said.

"They've intimidated us for a period of time and it's up to us to play this game and see what we can get out of it.

"I'm looking forward to that and I'm looking forward to seeing if we really do rate our defensive actions or don't we, whether we have that in the belly or don't we.

"We have to turn that around as a footy club and it starts tomorrow."

Sitting third last with a 3-12 record, the Lions have at least been boosted by the return from injury of versatile talls Mitch Clark (ankle) and Brent Staker (knee surgery).

"I don't know what to do this week, I've got some blokes who are over six foot one," Voss laughed. "It's quite incredible, the whole game strategy changes this week.

"It's good to put a couple of mature bodies in there and it's going to be a good contest for us."

Staker makes his senior comeback after two games in the reserves following LARS surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament which he ruptured in round one.

Voss likened the utility's absence to that of spearhead Jonathan Brown over the first two months when the skipper was recovering from facial fractures.

"A lot have spoken about Browny but (Staker) is the other one that's been missed," he said.

"He's been our genuine utility, we've been able to throw him forward and back at different times depending on what we needed.

"He was a very important player for us last year."

Clark's return puts the pressure on the Cats young ruck division following a one-week ban to Brad Ottens but Brisbane are wary of a transformed Geelong midfield with Joel Selwood back from suspension.

Brown needs just two goals at the Gabba to become the first Brisbane Lion and 49th in the game's history to register 500 majors.

He sits fourth on the merged club's all-time goalkicking list behind Alastair Lynch (633), Jack Moriarty (626) and Bernie Quinlan (576).

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