Lions respect Suns: Power - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions respect Suns: Power

By Laine Clark 12/08/2011 07:44:57 PM Comments (0)

By rights, a team beaten last round by 150 points should be baulking at the favourites' tag.

But second-last Gold Coast Suns made it clear they were backing themselves against arch rivals the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.

On paper, the Suns' record in their AFL debut season isn't pretty - a horror 3-15 record.

And their nadir came just last round when defending premiers Collingwood racked up a cricket score against the AFL rookies.

But another stat has clearly made the Suns confident ahead of this weekend - an eight-point win over the Lions in May.

Oh, and another tid-bit brought a spring to their step on Friday - inspirational skipper Gary Ablett was passed fit after missing the Pies feast due to a hamstring complaint.

"Every week you go in expecting to win a game of football but I think the guys got a lot of confidence out of playing Brisbane earlier in the year," Suns assistant coach Shane O'Bree said on Friday.

"Just that belief and confidence from knowing you've beaten a team earlier in the year, and you draw a lot from that."

They also drew a lot from the Lions' barbs ahead of their first Queensland AFL derby clash in May.

Suns recruit and ex-Lions midfielder Michael Rischitelli was branded a "mercenary" by Brisbane star Simon Black in a war of words between the sides ahead of the first derby.

Rischitelli said the Lions "probably" disrespected the Suns before that game but everything changed after the Gold Coast ran out shock eight point winners.

As a result, Rischitelli said he wasn't surprised that the Lions were keeping a low profile ahead of Saturday night's re-match at the Gabba.

But Lions veteran Luke Power said on Friday the fiery lead-up to their opening "Q-Clash" was harmless fun.

Asked if there was a lack of respect from the Lions, Power said: "I don't think so.

"There were a few comments made in the media but I think that was more to promote the game.

"I think both clubs were pretty good in promoting that last time.

"That's what people want to see, they want to see a bit of a grudge match, a bit of rivalry and I thought both clubs were pretty good at promoting that last time.

"But certainly there was not a lack of respect towards them as a football team."

Power stuck with the Lions' low key buildup to the match, saying there would be nothing personal in the clash.

"It's a big game but it's more about us and what we want to do in the game rather than worrying too much about the Suns," he said.

"We have to set the foundation for the next couple of years."

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