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Lion cubs show their roar power

Highlights: Suns v Lions Gold Coast and the Brisbane Lions clash in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
Campbell Brown of the Suns is tackled by Sam Docherty of the Lions during the 2013 NAB Cup round 01, week 02 match between the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast.  (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Campbell Brown of the Suns is wrapped up in a tackle by Sam Docherty of the Lions during Brisbane's 33 point win in the NAB Cup
THE CROP of Brisbane Lions youngsters Michael Voss has patiently nurtured over recent seasons showed signs in Saturday night's NAB Cup victory over Gold Coast that they might be ready to deliver in 2013.

Voss' young midfield group of Daniel Rich, Tom Rockliff and Jack Redden have developed well in recent seasons and look set to continue their improvement in 2013.

A pleasing crowd for the Suns of more than 7,800 (including more than 2000 who hadn't booked tickets) were there to watch the two rivals clash but it would have been the Lions fans who went home much the happier.

Click here for the best match pics

Rich, Rockliff and Redden were outstanding in the Lions 2.6.3 (57) to 3.6 (24) win.

But the performance of Lions forward Aaron Cornelius might have been the one that most pleased Voss.

Cornelius has played just 22 games in his four seasons at the Gabba, but he provided the game's highlight when he soared onto Sun defender Joel Wilkinson's shoulders and took a one-grab speccy in greasy conditions not suited to big men.

Moloney inspired midfield bites Hawks

Just minutes later, Cornelius drifted back to take a strong mark in defence and, at 22, he might be ready to deliver on his undoubted talent.

Defender Mitch Golby, Rohan Bewick and Ryan Lester were among the other Lion cubs to impress.

Saturday night's first two games went without a supergoal being scored, but the Lions kicked two within a few minutes late in the first half.

Dayne Zorko scored the first, launching a shot on the run just inches outside 50, while former Demon Brent Moloney bombed a set shot from 55m.  

Puopolo knee scare for Hawks

The Suns jumped the Lions at the start of the match, kicking the game's opening two goals. The first was set up by Sun Jared Brennan who launched a booming kick from the middle of the ground to Campbell Brown, who marked unopposed 20m out from goal.

But with Suns captain Gary Ablett rested from the game, the Lions soon gained the ascendency, with the Suns not kicking their third goal until the dying minutes of the game.

Suns midfielder Harley Bennell was again outstanding, while Michael Rischitelli showed signs he could return to form in 2013.

Sun Andrew Boston was reported for head-high contact on Claye Beams in a second-half clash where his hip seemed to collect Beams' head as he attacked the ball.

Former Fremantle defender Greg Broughton was lucky to escape injury in his first match with the Suns, when Lions rookie Richard Newell took his legs out from under him in a marking contest midway through the second half.

What the coaches said
"Once we got our hands on the footy and started to make the ball flow a bit more, the (Hawthorn) game opened up and our scoring opened up. I wanted to see some of our young defenders and what their rebounding capability was. I wanted to see how (Elliot) Yeo, (Sam) Docherty and (Mitch) Golby went and they were good." – Michael Voss

"We went out there in the first game to set the tone with intensity, and attack the footy, and I thought the guys did that. You take the best ruckman on the night (Zac Smith), our skipper (Gary Ablett), Karmichael Hunt (out of second game) and that sets the scene in that area. It was a good opportunity for some first year players to solidify their chances of playing in round one. I think some of those players failed to grab their opportunity for their (lack of) attack on the footy." – Guy McKenna

AFL Fantasy Snapshot
Mitch Golby looks to have fully recovered from the foot stress fracture that sidelined him after he played the Lions' first 13 games last season. At $379,700, Golby is not the cheapest defensive option, but he averaged 73.69 Fantasy points last season and had a game-high 42 against the Suns. Lions forward Aaron Cornelius ($269,200) showed signs against the Suns he could have a breakthrough year, taking several marks on his way to 36 points. Suns defender Maverick Weller ($271,500) had 33 points and after playing 28 games in the Suns' first two seasons looks set to play regular senior football in 2013.  

GOLD COAST             0.2.3    0.3.6 (24)                 
BRISBANE LIONS       2.1.2    2.6.3 (57)

Gold Coast: -
Brisbane Lions: Zorko, Moloney

Gold Coast: Brown, Lynch, Brennan
Brisbane Lions: Lester, Martin, Cornelius, Yeo, Banfield, McGrath

Gold Coast: Bennell, Rischitelli, Lonergan
Brisbane Lions: Golby, Rich, Rockliff, Redden, Cornelius

Gold Coast: TBC
Brisbane Lions: TBC

Reports: Nil