Look out for the Lions

TASMANIAN Ryan Harwood has promised that the Brisbane team that runs on to Aurora Stadium on Saturday will be a significant improvement on the one that crashed by 58 points to the same opposition at the same venue just 10 home and away games ago.

``It's a completely different game plan,'' Harwood told  The Examiner  yesterday ahead of the round 1 clash with reigning premier Hawthorn.

``There's just more freedom to run and spread and carry the footy now [under new coach Justin Leppitsch].

``If we are still with them after the first three quarters, I'm confident that we can come home strong.''

Brisbane will also have learned plenty from the 131-point drubbing it received from the Hawks during the early stages of the NAB Challenge.

Harwood, who had 22 possessions and took seven marks in that match, said witnessing how the Hawks used the ball was extremely beneficial, and expected a more experienced Lions line-up to be much more competitive.

The Glenorchy product is raring to go after what he described as his best preseason in which he did not miss a session.

``It was good to get over to Arizona (for high-altitude training) and learn something new, while training in a different environment,'' the 22-year-old said. 

``I've done a few now, so you get used to it.

``You learn over the years that you don't want to let yourself or your teammates down, so if you do the work before you get back (to training) then you will be fine.''

Harwood's aims for the season are to ``maintain some consistent footy in the seniors''.

``The last few years I've gone in and out so I just want to cement myself a spot.''

He has played 42 games since the Lions selected him with pick 47 in the 2009 national draft and believes there is a place off half-back for the taking, if he's good enough.

With Elliot Yeo and Sam Docherty no longer at the club, there is less competition for a position in which Harwood looked comfortable in the latter part of last season, after playing just one of the first nine matches.

``I've only played down there for the last couple of years or so, but I'm really starting to take to my role now and I'm having fun back there.

``They (Hawthorn) have some very dangerous forwards, so for me this week it will be about defending first and trying to hurt them the other way, and make them have to defend me.''

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