The Brisbane Lions are braced for a Geelong outfit that want to bury painful memories of last year’s amazing AFL capitualtion at the Gabba.
Lions club champion Joel Patfull expects Geelong will relish the prospect of atoning for a 2013 lowlight when they return to a rain-sodden Gabba on Sunday.
Cats coach Chris Scott described his mood as “restrained fury” after Brisbane stalwart Ash McGrath capped a 53-point comeback with a match-winning 52m goal after the siren last year.
Scott said his entire team were angry after their surprise capitulation, and defender Patfull admitted on Thursday the Lions should be braced for a backlash.
“I’m sure they’ll be fired up and ready to go,” said the two-time Merrett-Murray Medallist. “They probably owe us one up here. We’re ready for a big game and looking forward to it.”
Brisbane will miss suspended vice-captain Tom Rockliff who paid the price for taking the fight to Sam Mitchell too far in the opening round defeat to Hawthorn.
But Patfull vowed the Lions would continue their highly-physical approach to try and unsettle the Cats, who impressed in their round one win over Adelaide.
“You’ve got to try and be physical and take the contest to those good teams,” he said. “If you don’t they’ll run over the top of you.
“It’s a focus. We trained hard again today and will take that into the weekend.”
Patfull, who plays equally well on talls and smalls, expects he’ll have to negate both Jimmy Bartel and Steve Johnson at different times at the Gabba.
“(Bartel) was pretty slippery last week, so he popped up out the back and was pretty dangerous, so I’ll spend a bit of time on him and a few of their smalls as well,” he said.