Allen Christensen won't be holding anything back.
Allen Christensen won't be holding anything back. DANIEL POCKETT

Lion ready to take game to the Giants

ALLEN Christensen can expect plenty of discussion with opponents in the Lions forward line during Saturday night's sudden-death semi-final clash against the Giants.

It's how Brisbane's self-confessed chatterbox likes it.

The GWS defence, in particular Christensen's expected minder, veteran Heath Shaw, usually like to provide a word or two.

"I'm a bit the same. I like to chat out there," Christensen said. "The more chatter the better it is for me."

Conversations are usually confined to match commentary.

"Pretty much the game, whatever's going on in the game," Christensen said. "I don't know, but I hope it annoys them.

"Sometimes I get absolutely nothing back, and I'm left pretty much talking to myself.

"It's just fun and games out there."

Christensen puts in at training this week.
Christensen puts in at training this week. Bradley Kanaris

With no next week for the loser, tensions will be high at the Gabba in what will be just the second AFL final between teams from Queensland and New South Wales.

Actions will do the bulk of the talking, the Lions bracing for a physical Giants outfit after they outmuscled the more-fancied Bulldogs last week.

"The Giants were awesome against the Dogs. They play a pretty hard, physical type of game," Christensen said.

"It's been spoken about during the week. I think we're in for a little bit of body contact on the weekend.

"We've had a look at some of their players and me, as a forward, a look at their defenders and their tendencies, what they do."

Christensen gets his kick away when the two teams met earlier this season.
Christensen gets his kick away when the two teams met earlier this season. Philip Hillyard

Christensen said the ball would continue to be the Lions' focus, not the man, as they showed in round 17 when the Power targeted star onballer Lachie Neale.

The Giants zeroed in on Dogs star Marcus Bontempelli last week.

While the Lions have lost hard nut Mitch Robinson (hamstring), fellow enforcer Nick Robertson comes in.

"If a team wants to do that to us, we'll keep doing what we're doing. We'll just worry about the ball," Christensen said. "(But) if anyone goes after Lachie or Zorks (Dayne Zorko) our players will stand up for them."

Christensen said preparation this week hadn't deviated from the norm, despite the Lions kicking themselves out of the qualifying final against Richmond with an inaccurate 8.17.

It's been situation normal at training for the Lions.
It's been situation normal at training for the Lions. REGI VARGHESE

"I think it was just one of those games," he said.

"The good thing about this group is ... we don't jump at shadows. We just keep going through the same routine.

"The majority of the year we've kicked pretty well. It's won us a couple of games.

"Hopefully we can just start putting our forwards in better places to have shots instead of from 40 to 50m out."

Christensen had his kicking boots on against the Tigers, slotting 2.0, to go with his 16 disposals and three tackles.

Christensen mingles with Lions fans at the Gabba.
Christensen mingles with Lions fans at the Gabba. REGI VARGHESE

It was his first final since 2013 when playing with Geelong.

The 28-year-old worked his way back into form with a stint in the NEAFL after experiencing injury and form issues earlier in the season.

"The first half of the year didn't go the way I wanted," he said.

"But, I think it's held me in pretty good stead in the back half of the year

"I've been a bit more desperate to apply pressure. I'm kicking goals as well. That's coming off the back of my intent and energy.

"I want to play my role. I want to help the team.

"I've had a bit of clarity in my role. I'm pretty much playing 90 per cent as a small forward now. It's made my job a lot easier."

News Corp Australia


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