WHERE AND WHEN: Metricon Stadium, Saturday May 26, 2.10pm
LAST TIME: Gold Coast 15.14 (104) d Port Adelaide 15.11 (101), round five, 2011, at AAMI Stadium
Sometimes we get lost in the chaos of it all. The emotional hurricane which football whips up often carries many away into dangerous territory, but the Suns, even with a poor start to the year have stood firm. In the wake of doubts surrounding Guy McKenna’s ability as senior coach, they’ve stood tall and re-signed him. Regardless of the lackluster start, they must stand tall and keep digging in. Injuries have plagued their senior group and the confidence is growing within the kids as they enter their second year of footy.
Matthew Primus is a man on a hangwire, inching his way closer to safety by pinching miniscule victories from decent opposition. Regardless of North Melbourne’s final term fade out, judging the scenes of jubilation last Saturday post-game, confidence and safety is all the Power can seek to gain week by week. Whether his side can bury them demons of last years embarrassment against the Suns; which hit the club at it’s lowest ebb, remains to be seen.
WHY SHOULD YOU TUNE IN?
Structurally, the Suns are playing their best team available. Kyal Horsley, a mature age body is assisting Captain Gary Ablett and the underrated Dion Prestia through the middle of the ground. Karmicheal Hunt’s rapid revolution into a decent, contested ball-winning wrecking ball has given the Suns every chance to win games of football by allowing a strong and formidable presence in the midfield.
Up forward still remains an issue for the toddlers of the competition. However, as I said before, patience amid the crazy is a virtue. Charlie Dixon and Sam Day are key position players, and most grow into their respective roles. Harley Bennell is a presence in himself, and must continue to create the amount of influence he has over games in his second year.
The most damning part about the Suns second season of footy is that they’ve lead four games this year at half time. They have been smashed in second halves this season, scoring 220 points less than their opponents. This is nothing to worry about from a physical point of view, as most players will get their peak fitness in the next two pre-seasons, but more psychological. The Suns must hold their ground after half time and begin to compose themselves when the opposition makes a run at them. This is critical to their confidence as a growing group.
Jay Schultz. Since he came to the Power, he’s booted 80+ goals in a couple of seasons. He is a bright spot the Power can look to as they seek to establish consistency to their performances. John Butcher has stagnated a little his development due to injury, but having a mentor in Schultz and should allow him to re-gain ground. To clinch victory, they must use the last ten minutes of last week’s game against North as inspiration. Move the ball fast, hit targets and kick to one on one contests up forward.
Hamish Harlett is averaging 21 touches a game, making that next leap into elite territory and Danyle Pearce played his best game in his career last week. Their midfielders must not second guess themselves and keep up with the talents at the Suns. Kane Cornes took to a tagging role last week, and may be the man to take quell Ablett. Although the task is mammoth, you’d suggest he would need help with Port having extra players at stoppages to block Ablett’s path.
The Power need to stick to the task. The last time they’ve strung consecutive wins together, was wins against the Dees and Tigers in Rounds 21 and 22 of 2010. This game is about the bigger picture, and confidence the players will get as both sides seek to establish form. Considering the Power forward line has functioned better this season, they’ll make more of their opportunities. Just.
Power by 5.
Gold Coast Suns
B: Jeremy Taylor, Matthew Warnock, Seb Tape
HB: Sam Iles, Rory Thompson, Joel Wilkinson
C: Michael Rischitelli, Karmichael Hunt, Matt Shaw
HF: Harley Bennell, Tom Lynch, Andrew McQualter
F: Campbell Brown, Sam Day, Alik Magin
Foll: Zac Smith, Josh Caddy, Gary Ablett
I/C: Daniel Stanley, Dion Prestia, Alex Sexton, Kyal Horsley
Emg: Tom Hickey, Steven May, Aaron Hall
In: Alik Magin
Out: Luke Russell (Rested)
B: Jackson Trengove, Alipate Carlile, Jacob Surjan
HB: Hamish Hartlett, Troy Chaplin, Danyle Pearce
C: Kane Cornes, Domenic Cassisi, Ben Jacobs
HF: John McCarthy, Justin Westhoff, Matthew Broadbent
F: Daniel Stewart, Jay Schulz, Chad Wingard
Foll: Brent Renouf, Bradley Ebert, Travis Boak
I/C: Brett Ebert, Matt Thomas, Paul Stewart, Darren Pfeiffer
Emg: Jarrad Redden, Tom Logan, Andrew Moore
In: Daniel Stewart
Out: John Butcher (Hip)
Milestones: Alipate Carlile – 100 games