Blues, Lions set for bumper years

Written By malwan milad on Rabu, 13 Maret 2013 | 12.50

Jonathan Brown will try and lead Brisbane to its first ever pre-season title on Friday night. Picture: Salpigtidis George Source: Herald Sun

LOCK in at least one of Carlton or the Brisbane Lions to burst into the top four this season and expect both to see September action.

That is if recent NAB Cup form is any guide to the season proper.

Not since Denis Pagan's bizarre pre-season success – where the Blues collected wok-shaped cups in 2005 and 2007 only to disastrously bomb out in the real stuff – has a NAB Cup grand finalist missed the eight.

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In fact, the past 10 pre-season grand finalists have unearthed winter-time success.

They've netted seven top-four finishes, two runner-ups and one premier, when the Cats collected the 2009 premiership double in the midst of their golden era.

Each of the past five NAB Cup deciders has foreshadowed a top-four side, while in 2009 and 2010 all four March grand finalists went on to seal double chances.

It took two Grand Finals for NAB Cup runner-up St Kilda to go down in September 2010, six months after it was trounced by a Barry Hall-led Western Bulldogs.

NAB Cup Grand Final. Western Bulldogs v St Kilda. Etihad Stadium. Barry Hall with the trophy. Picture: Darren Tindale Source: HWT Image Library


The Dogs finished fourth that season, edged by the Saints in a preliminary final.

Adelaide's rapid rise last season surprised most – but perhaps was to be expected after collecting the NAB Cup silverware.

The Crows beat West Coast for the pre-season title, before the Eagles went onto finish fifth.

TAB Sportsbet rates Carlton a $2.75 chance to finish in the top four this year, while the Lions are still at $15.

The Blues are $1.35 to make the eight, while Brisbane is sixth last in the betting line at $3.50.

Friday night's clash at Etihad Stadium will be a rematch of the 2007 decider, when the Blues downed the Lions, before NAB Cup grand finals began to consistently unearth impressive sides.

NAB CUP GRAND FINAL FORM GUIDE TO THE REAL SEASON

2008
NAB Cup premier: St Kilda (finished 4th in real season)
Runner-up: Adelaide (5th)

2009
NAB Cup premier: Geelong (Premier)
Runner-up: Collingwood (4th)

2010
NAB Cup premier: Western Bulldogs (4th)
Runner-up: St Kilda (Runner-up)

2011
NAB Cup premier: Collingwood (Runner-up)
Runner-up: Essendon (8th)

2012
NAB Cup premier: Adelaide (3rd)
Runner-up: West Coast (5th)


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