Two from two for Suns
THE Gold Coast Suns will go into the season on the back of two JLT Series victories after edging the Brisbane Lions by seven points in the pre-season QClash encounter.
The won 7.7 (49) to 4.18 (42) in front of 1,649 spectators at the home of the Southport Sharks, with the scoreline telling the tale of a scrappy encounter.
Late goals from Aaron Hall and Darcy MacPherson sealed the match in the Suns’ favour, with Dayne Zorko’s impudent late strike not enough to drag the Lions back into the game.
The only downside for the Suns was Pearce Hanley dislocating his shoulder diving to stop a grubber kick rolling towards goal.
The Irishman’s shoulder was popped back in soon afterwards and the Suns will hope the former Lion will not miss much action.
Torrential weather before and during the game left the Fankhauser Reserve field a quagmire meaning there was little silky football on show but plenty of fierce contests to ready bodies for the start of the AFL season, now less than a fortnight away.
The conditions necessitated an intense, hard-fought effort which the Suns showcased again after last week’s 56-point victory over Geelong.
The second win will give them confidence ahead of a nightmare schedule where they do not play at their Metricon Stadium home until round 11 due to the Commonwealth Games.
Despite the Lions enjoying territorial ascendancy and a 60-48 inside 50 advantage, they produced little quality in front of the sticks.
In defence the Lions, with Luke Hodge in his first game for the club, looked more solid than in their 55-point defeat to Sydney last week.
The Suns scored the first four goals with Alex Sexton, after a smart kick from Tom Lynch, and Port Adelaide import Aaron Young getting on the board in the first quarter before Touk Miller and Ben Ainsworth scored in the second.
The Lions finally broke their duck with Lewis Taylor and Jarrod Berry kicking goals before the long break, but although the weather improved only Lynch and Nick Robertson scored for either side in the third, before the late goals briefly illuminated the game.
The Suns open their campaign proper against North Melbourne in Cairns on March 24, while the Lions will travel to Melbourne to face St Kilda at Docklands Stadium.
© AAP 2018
GOLD COAST 2.1 4.6 5.7 7.7 (49)
BRISBANE LIONS 0.5 2.7 3.14 4.18 (42)
Goals: Gold Coast: A Hall A Sexton A Young B Ainsworth D MacPherson T Lynch T Miller. Brisbane Lions: D Zorko J Berry L Taylor N Robertson.
Venue: Fankhauser Reserve.