Crows pinch top 2 position after crushing the Suns

Adelaide proved too good for the Suns

ADELAIDE        3.6    9.13    15.18     22.21(153)
GOLD COAST 
  1.3      5.6      7.6        9.8 (62)

Adelaide has clinch a home qualifying final against the Sydney Swans next week after a 91-point thumping of the Gold Coast Suns.

Patrick Dangerfield enhanced his Brownlow chances with what appears to be a certain three-vote game, collecting 36 disposals and two goals to be comfortably the best player on the ground.

The Crows fired out of the blocks early, with fellow Brownlow fancy Scott Thompson getting the Crows underway in style. Not to be out done, Dangerfield followed up with the next two goals to take Adelaide out to a three day lead in no time.

To the Suns credit, the young team managed to hang in with Adelaide, preventing them from scoring another goal for the quarter while Matera also pegged one back, leaving the margin at 15 points to quarter time.

Gold Coast carried on with the same momentum that they finished the first quarter with, as Stephen May and Gary Ablett got the visitors away to a dream start to the second quarter with two of the first three goals to the Suns.

Consecutive goals to Graham Johncock saw the home team steady. Another goal to the Suns through Shaw again saw the visitors will to fight, though again the challenge, with Smith, Talia and Tippett kicking three of the final four goals of the quarter to hand Adelaide a 31 point lead to the main break.

The third quarter finally saw Adelaide make their stamp on the game, amassing thirteen scoring shots to the Suns two to finally highlight the difference in class between the two teams.

Dangerfield was prolific for the home team, amassing disposals at will while captain Nathan Van Berlo and Ian Callinan combined for four of Adelaide’s six goals in the third quarter in what was at times some exhilarating football.

Brown and Lynch took the most of the Suns two scoring shots for the quarter, kicking a goal each to leave the margin at an even 10 goals at the final change.

The final quarter developed into a glorified training run for the Crows, as they amassed a seven goal final quarter to well and truly finish off the home and away season in style.

Callinan and Johncock both kicked their fourth goal each while Scott Thompson may have clinched a vital two Brownlow votes, kicking a second major for the day to sit along with his 30 possessions.

The Crows in the end proved to be too powerful, end Gold Coast’s second season in the league with a 91-point thumping.

It means Adelaide will now host Sydney next Saturday afternoon at AAMI Stadium with a opportunity to claim a home preliminary final on the line.

VOTES

3) P. Dangerfield

2) S. Thompson

1) R. Sloane

ADELAIDE        3.6    9.13    15.18     22.21(153)
GOLD COAST 
  1.3      5.6      7.6        9.8 (62)

BEST
Adelaide:
Dangerfield, Thompson, Mackay, van Berlo, Callinan, Porplyzia
Gold Coast: Ablett, Stanely, Matera, Bennell, Dixon, Lynch,

GOALS
Adelaide:
Callinan (4), Johncock (4), Dangerfield (2), van Berlo (2), Petrenko (2), Thompson (2), Jacobs, Porplyzia, Riley, Smith, Talia, Tippett

Gold Coast:
Ablett (2), May (2), Brown, Gillbee, Lynch, Matera, Shaw

INJURIES
Adelaide: Nil
Gold Coast: Nil

SUBSTITUTIONS
Adelaide:
Matthew Jaensch replaced Daniel Talia in the third quarter.
Gold Coast: Piers Flanagan replaced Tom Hickey in the third quarter.



Umpires: Fleer, Hay, Findlay

Reports: Campbell Brown (Gold Coast) reported for bumping or making forceful contact to Aidan Riley from front on in the second quarter by umpire R Finlay

Official crowd: 35,463 at AAMI Stadium

Check out the thoughts of both sets of supporters over on BigFooty today.

Adelaide Crows

Gold Coast Suns

 

Crows to Scorch Suns

Adelaide vs Gold Coast

WHERE AND WHEN: AAMI Stadium, Saturday September 1, 1.40pm

Adelaide can not afford to slip up when they face the Gold Coast on Saturday, if they do they will lose their chance at a home final.

The equation is pretty simple for the Crows, if they win and Sydney or Hawthorn lose they will get a home final if they lose they will miss out. They cannot afford any incompetence.

The Suns are fresh off further ruining Carlton’s season after their upset win. Their surprising performance put even  more pressure on Brett Ratten who looks to have lost his job. Ruining Adelaide’s finals preparation and positioning would be the perfect way to end the season.

Adelaide also had a win, easily accounting for Melbourne by 69 points. However it is their performance from the week before, a 10 point loss to Brisbane that is a worry. The Crows cannot afford to show that lecel of complacency this week.

What Adelaide Will Want

This provides a perfect opportunity for the Crows to play well before they enter finals in what will probably be a pretty easy game.

Kurt Tippett and Taylor Walker were immense last week,  they should produce a similar performance this week against the Suns. Big forwards win finals and to have these two hitting good form before the finals will make Adelaide a force to be reckoned with over the next month.

Finally the last thing the Crows will want this week is no injuries. Other than losing the worst thing that could happen this week is if Adelaide lost someone of the calibre of Patrick Dangerfield of Scott Thompson.

What Gold Coast Will Want 

The Suns have nothing to lose this week so they will want an all out effort form all of their players. Despite being second last and full of injuries they need to put up a fight, this is important for perceptions of both people outside and within the club.

Gold Coast will also want a strong showing form some of their weaker players. With off-season around the corner some players may lose their spots at the club. This may be the final chance for them to impress and be the difference between the staying or leaving.

Prediction

Gold Coast were able to pull off a huge upset last week but it was against a side that did not make finals. Adelaide will provide a much tougher opponent making a repeat of last weeks performnce.

The Crows however are itching for finals and all their players will be playing accordingly. They are top 4 for a a reason and will win easily.

Adelaide by 67 points

Suns shine, Ratten feels Blues

Suns set on Carlton season.

GOLD COAST   6.1  11.3  12.7     15.8    (98)
CARLTON          2.3   4.7    9.13   11.20   (86)

Gold Coast has pulled off a miraculous upset, all but ending Carlton’s finals hopes by 12 points at Metricon Stadium.

The Suns displayed maturity beyond their years right from the start as Brett Ratten could only watch his team’s season, and possibly his  coaching career, gurgle down the drain.

Ablett was best on for Gold Coast in a display that won’t be his best of his career, though was still vital. Lynch, Stanley and Bennell were also great for the home team.

For the visitors, Judd stood out where others stagnated and Scotland was good in defense.

It was a horrible start for the Blues, with McIness going down in the first minute with what looks to be a serious injury to his right knee. The injury was followed by six consecutive goals to the Gold Coast to start the match, with four of the goals coming from Carlton turnovers.

You would be forgiven for thinking Gold Coast were the team playing for finals with the intensity of the respective teams.

It took the Carlton captain Chris Judd to finally step up and kick not only Carlton first, but also their second goal to kick start things. Yarran had an opportunity to kick another goal after the siren, however his kick faded to the right, leaving Carlton trailing Gold Coast by 22 points at quarter time.

It was a seemingly much better start to the second quarter for Carlton, with Eddie Betts kicking the opening of the quarter to seemingly restore order.

It wasn’t to be, in fact, the opposite happened.

Four consecutive goals to the Gold Coast via Horsley, Ablett, Caddy and Dixon showed that the first quarter was no fluke.

Carlton were playing like millionaires, a team who treated this match as a holiday rather than a business trip. Garlett managed to snag one back for the visitors, though Campbell Brown kicked the final goal of the quarter to give Gold Coast a half time lead of 39 points.

The third quarter witnessed the seemingly inevitable fightback from Carlton. The Blues had many opportunities to reduce the margin significantly, however inaccuracy in front of goal was proving costly. Chris Yarran finally managed to convert an opportunity for Carlton, which was followed by Betts and McLean.

A great piece of play between Ablett and Caddy resulted in a timely goal for the Suns, though further goals to McLean and Waite dragged the margin back to just two goals in favour of the suns at three quarter time.

The Suns were off to the best start in the final quarter, with Tom Lynch kicking the opening goal.

When Yarran and Waite converted chanced, it seems as if Carlton were going to finally gain some composure and run over the top of their opposition.

It wasn’t to be however, as Caddy kicked his third goal to put the margin back beyond a goal, followed by another goal to lynch to make the margin 16 points.

Carlton continued on with their inaccuracy to the very end, kicking the final four behinds of the game to lose by 12 points to the Gold Coast Suns, ending Carlton’s finals hopes and quite possibly Brett Ratten’s coaching career.

Gold Coast will end their season next Saturday when they take on Adelaide at AAMI Stadium while Carlton will be hoping for a Fremantle choke on the scale of their performance today before they take on St. Kilda next Sunday.

VOTES

3) G. Ablett

2) T. Lynch

1) D. Stanley

GOLD COAST   6.1  11.3  12.7     15.8    (98)
CARLTON          2.3   4.7    9.13   11.20   (86)

GOALS
Gold Coast
: Lynch 4, Caddy 3, Brown 2, Ablett, Dixon, Hickey, Horsley, McKenzie, Weller
Carlton: Betts 2, McLean 2, Judd 2, Waite 2, Yarran 2, Garlett

BEST
Carlton:
McLean, Judd, Yarran, Carrazzo, Scotland, Kreuzer
Gold Coast: Dixon, Coad, Ablett, Bennell, Lynch, Matera

INJURIES
Carlton:
Andrew McInnes (knee)
Gold Coast: Taylor (abdomen) replaced in selected side by Josh Toy

SUBSTITUTES
Carlton:
David Ellard replaced Andrew McInnes (knee) in the first quarter
Gold Coast: Josh Toy replaced Tom Hickey in the fourth quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Hay, Ryan, Pannell

Official crowd: 15,251 at Metricon Stadium

Check out the reactions of both teams supporters on BigFooty today.

Gold Coast

Carlton

Battle of the Brownlow Ball Magnets

Gold Coast Vs Carlton
Saturday 25th August
Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm

The most appealing aspect of this clash between the Blues – who still have a slight sniff of finals action after trouncing Essendon – and the Suns, who are just waiting for the season to set, will be seeing Gary Ablett Jnr and Chris Judd go at it. Ablett has been notching some extraordinary numbers whipping about among the Gold Coast kids, and Judd had a respectable return of 23 touches in his first game for a month and will only be better for the run.

The Suns have had a mixed-up month of footy, playing the two current top teams in Sydney and Hawthorn and being predictably smacked in both, yet they also split the priority pick pecking order matches, losing to the Demons yet knocking off GWS; thankfully as second season in is too early to have a bogey side already.

Injuries have prevented Gold Coast building upon their results of their debut year; they currently have 18 players on the sidelines unavailable for the rest of the season yet those that remain are playing for a spot on the list.
Brett Ratten has wavered between seeking a contract extension and seek.com.au as the Blues polarizing season continues.

After delivering an upset win over Collingwood in Round 16 that should have been the catalyst for their finals charge; Carlton were another victim of the irrepressible Roos the week after, making every game since a near-must win situation to make the finals.

The Blues just did enough against the Dogs, beat Richmond in the last minute then were respectable in their loss to ladder-leading Sydney. Back to back wins against Brisbane and Essendon leaves them in ninth, though if they win as expected, and the Roos bounce the Dockers on Sunday they will be in eight by the end of the round.

Ratten even came out and said his side “From where we’ve come from mid-season, if we did make it we’d be dangerous.” if they make it to September.

The Blues will still likely be without fullback Michael Jamieson, and ruckman Robbie Warnock, though Rohan Kerr will face a test on his shoulder. The most encouraging part about Carlton’s demolition of the Bombers would be the even spread of ball shared through their midfield, Mark Murphy had 32 touches, Bryce Gibbs had 28 and the load wasn’t placed squarely on the shoulders of the returning Judd.

Matthew Warnock is one of the few Suns defenders still standing, and will have a big job trying to contain the multi-pronged Carlton forward line, with Jarrad Waite finding form after an interrupted season. At the other end Stephen May turned in a classy display against the Hawks and will have to be watched.

The Gold Coast have only played the Blues once before; a 119-point drubbing in their second ever AFL appearance. It may not be that big this time, but an easy win is expected, and necessary for the Blues, especially with percentage likely to decide eighth spot.

Prediction:
Carlton by 86, Ablett to get 31.

Swings and roundabouts as Buddy in, Cyril out

In the aftermath of Hawthorn’s dramatic loss to Geelong, it seems that they have been subdued in their past claims to premiership favoritism. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have premiership credentials, but after losses to the Swans and Tigers, once again they need to prove themselves with a dominant performance against a lesser side in the build up to two difficult games in the final two rounds.

The Suns can’t wait for the end of the season, even after racking up their first win at home against GWS last Saturday. They’ve sent future midfielder star David Swallow to surgery and are looking towards 2013. However, the Suns would want to put in a supreme effort to finish the year and give them something to look forward to.

WHY SHOULD YOU TUNE IN:

Hawthorn: The Hawks regain one crowd-pulling superstar for this match, but lose another. Lance Franklin has overcome his hamstring problem after five weeks out, but Cyril Rioli has suffered a shoulder injury and will miss at least a fortnight. As a result of his layoff, Franklin now trails leader Matthew Pavlich by six goals in the Coleman Medal race, but will fancy himself to put a dent in that margin against the Suns.

Ruckmen David Hale and Max Bailey played together against the Power, but with fellow big men Jarryd Roughead and Franklin to return, the time may have come to choose one or the other. Bailey is a better tap ruckman, but Hale is more versatile. With the wide spread of goal kickers and tall forwards on the Hawks list, it’s one of many difficult selection decisions facing Alastair Clarkson in the run to September.

Gold Coast: The Suns’ injury crisis has hit critical point with a staggering 18 players on the injury list this week. David Swallow (knee), Liam Patrick (hamstring) and Jackson Allen (groin) added to Gold Coast’s woes after last week’s win over the Giants, leaving barely enough fit players to pick a team from. Coach McKenna has preached “opportunity” for most of his two years in the job, and never has there been a greater example for his young players than this Sunday.

Aaron Hall and Brandon Matera may have shown Guy McKenna the forward line blueprint for his team. The two terriers were superb against the Giants and as long as they’re fit and healthy, look a likely combination. Hall had 15 disposals, seven tackles and kicked 3.2, while Matera continued his impressive late season form surge. He came up the ground more at times and finished with 22 touches and 2.1.

Prediction: With tough clashes on the horizon, don’t expect the Hawks to completely overwhelm the Suns. This game won’t be close in anyway, but no records will be broke either.

Hawks by 60.

Hawthorn

B: Brent Guerra, Ryan Schoenmakers, Shaun Burgoyne
HB: Grant Birchall, Luke Hodge, Benjamin Stratton
C: Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell, Xavier Ellis
HF: Isaac Smith, Lance Franklin, Jack Gunston
F: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Paul Puopolo
Foll: David Hale, Brad Sewell, Liam Shiels
I/C: Max Bailey, Stephen Gilham, Clinton Young, Brendan Whitecross, Shane Savage, Matt Suckling, Taylor Duryea

In: Lance Franklin, Jarryd Roughead, Liam Shiels, Shane Savage, Taylor Duryea
Out: Cyril Rioli (Shoulder), Josh Gibson (Ankle)

New: Taylor Duryea (Murray Bushrangers)

Gold Coast Suns

B: Taylor Hine, Steven May, Jeremy Taylor
HB: Daniel Stanley, Matthew Warnock, Jarrod Harbrow
C: Kyal Horsley, Gary Ablett, Matt Shaw
HF: Andrew McQualter, Tom Lynch, Brandon Matera
F: Alik Magin, Jared Brennan, Campbell Brown
Foll: Charlie Dixon, Josh Caddy, Harley Bennell
I/C: Maverick Weller, Piers Flanagan, Josh Toy, Tom Nicholls, Michael Coad, Tom Hickey, Henry Schade

In: Alik Magin, Piers Flanagan, Josh Toy, Tom Nicholls, Michael Coad, Tom Hickey, Henry Schade, Andrew McQualter
Out: Trent McKenzie (Club Suspension), Liam Patrick (Hamstring), David Swallow (Knee), Jackson Allen (Groin), Aaron Hall (Ankle)

New: Piers Flanagan (Geelong Falcons, VIC), Henry Schade

BigFooty Team Board Previews

Hawthorn

Gold Coast

Follow it live on BigFooty’s Game Day Thread

Suns shine on the Gold Coast

Gold Coast took on the Giants

Gold Coast                           3.1    6.9    12.11    16.13 (109)
Greater Western Sydney    3.1    5.2    8.6    12.7 (79)

Gold Coast has secured its inaugural win at Metricon Stadium by 30 points while GWS has claimed the Whitfield Shield.

Both teams will come away as winners from this clash as Gold Coast finally wins in front of their home ground and GWS are all but guaranteed the number one selection at the upcoming NAB AFL Draft.

Peter Matera and Gary Ablett were brilliant for the Suns, while William Hoskin-Elliot booted five goals for GWS.

It was Tomlinson who got the Giants off to the perfect start, booting a goal with in the first minute to commence proceedings. It didn’t take the Suns long to respond however, with Liam Patrick and Campbell Brown bagging the next two goals to give Gold Coast the lead.

What came next was some magic from William Hoskin-Elliot, landing the next two goals to wrestle back the lead for GWS. A late goal to Aaron Hall for the Suns brought back to level as the quarter time siren sounded.

Hall seemed to pick up where he finished; nailing the first goal of the second quarter to edge the Suns noses back in front. Some lose checking in defence for Gold Coast however allowed Stephen Clifton to sneak past the Suns defence and get a goal back for the Giants. Patrick’s second goal edged Gold Coast back in front before Hoskin-Elliot’s third goal on again brought the game back under a goal.

A late goal to Brendan Matera provided the Suns with a 13-point margin to half time.

Gold Coast were blistering at the start of the third quarter, a Bennell goal was the first of five unanswered goals to the home team, that went a long way to setting up a maiden win at Metricon.

GWS though still had other plans and eventually manged to compose themselves, kicking consecutive point to bring the margin back to 23 points.

A late goal to Cambell Brown however steadied the ship for the Suns and left the margin at 29 points at the final change.

A Giant task laid ahead of GWS, who had a crack early in the quarter. Indeed, GWS kicked four of the first six goals of the quarter, including Hoskin-Elliot’s fifth, to bring the margin back to 17 with a few minutes left in a game.

It was left to Ablett to apply the finishing touches, booting the final two goals to snap a 17 game losing streak at Metricon Stadium by the tune of 30 points.

Gold Coast will now face a massive task when they travel to the MCG to take on Hawthorn while GWS will chase their third win of the year against Melbourne in Canberra.

VOTES

3) Peter Matera

2) Gary Ablett Jr

1) William Hoskin-Elliot

GOALS
Gold Coast: Hall 3, Brown 3, Hall 3, Matera 2, Patrick 2, Bennell, Caddy, Lynch
Greater Western Sydney: Hoskin-Elliott 5, Cameron 2, Bugg, Clifton, Scully, Smith, Tomlinson

BEST
Gold Coast:
Matera, Ablett, Bennell, Swallow, Hall, Warnock
Greater Western Sydney: Hoskin-Elliott, Treloar, Smith, Scully, Cornes, Davis

INJURIES
Gold Coast: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Clifton; Townsend (groin) replaced in selected side by Hombsch

SUBSTITUTES
Gold Coast: Jeremy Taylor replaced Steven May in the third quarter
Greater Western Sydney: Luke Power replaced Israel Folau in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Leppard, Fila, Mollison

Official crowd: 14,657 at the Metricon Stadium

Dees prevail through Hell

Melbourne 6.6  10.7  13.8  16.12 (108)

Gold Coast 0.2  4.5  5.9  9.12 (66)

Melbourne has recorded just its third win for the year with a well earned 42 point victory against the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG.

Despite the Suns possessing two of the best three players on the ground in Bennell (38 disposals, four goals) and Ablett (33 disposals one goal), Melbourne proved too strong and experienced for the Suns as Brad Green had a day out, kicking five goals in the victory.

Melbourne supporters found plenty of voice with the Demons third win of the season – http://www.flickr.com/photos/flying_cloud/

The intent was displayed immediately by Melbourne, as the Demons looked like the Harlem Globetrotters in comparison.The footy was played almost entirely in the forward half for the Demons, resulting in a six goal to zero opening quarter on slaughter.

The Suns only had two meaningful forward forays for the quarter, with the last one a mark after the siren to Brennan, who hit the post on a tight angle, leaving the quarter time margin as a 40-point lead to the Demons.

Colin Sylvia proceeded to the second quarter in the same vein as he finished the first, kicking the opening goal for Melbourne after a 50-metre penalty. It took Gary Ablett to finally get the Suns on the board early in the second quarter, only for Green to respond for the Dees.

A Brennan goal however gave the Suns a small spark, which was quickly followed by goal to Rischitelli and Bennell brining the margin back to 26 points. Two late goals from Tapscott and Trengove managed to provide Melbourne with a comfortable 38-point half time lead.

Melbourne once again took control of the game in the third quarter against what was a turn man team in Gary Ablett and Harley Bennell. Green in particular was on song, kicking two of Melbourne’s three goals for the quarter with Bail contributing the third. Harley Bennell’s second goal brought the three quarter time margin back to 47 points.

After Dunn kicked the opening goal of the final quarter, Melbourne began to ease off the intensity, allowing Gold Coast to kick three consecutive goals to get within 35 points. The Suns then missed three consecutive shots on goal to apply some genuine pressure on the Demons.

It wasn’t to be however, as Brad Green slotted his fifth goal for the day to end any faint hope of a Gold Coast resurgence.

Bennell managed to cap his magnificent performance off with his fourth goal but the final highlight belonged to Jeremy Howe, who took a flying pack mark before slotting the goal after the siren to cap off a 42 point win for the Demons.

Melbourne will now take on St. Kilda next Saturday at the MCG while Gold Coast will take on GWS at Metricon in what looms as the battle for likely number one pick, Lachie Whitfield.

VOTES

3) Harley Bennell

2) Brad Green

1) Gray Ablett Jr

GOALS
Melbourne:
Green 5, Sylvia 2, Blease 2, Spencer, Trengove, Tapscott, Sellar, Rivers, Bail, Howe
Gold Coast: Bennell 4, Ablett, Rischitelli, Brennan, Russell, Lynch

BEST
Melbourne:
Green, Sylvia, Jones, Trengove, McDonald, Grimes, Spencer, Dunn
Gold Coast: Bennell, Ablett, Shaw, Swallow, Patrick

INJURIES
Melbourne:
Jordie McKenzie (knee) was a late withdrawal. Morton (shoulder)
Gold Coast: Danny Stanley was a late withdrawal. Prestia (ankle), Smith (ankle), Hunt (shoulder)

SUBSTITUTES
Melbourne: Cale Morton replaced by James Magner in the third quarter
Gold Coast: Dion Prestia replaced by Liam Patrick at quarter-time.

Reports: Nil

Umpires: H.Ryan, Schmitt, B.Ryan

Official crowd: 18,097 at MCG

Read up on the thougts of both sets of supporters over on BigFooty

Melbourne Demons

Gold Coast Suns

 

Demons’ Hellish Week has a Golden upside

Melbourne Vs Gold Coast
MCG Sunday, 5th August, 1.10pm

This week Melbourne have been brandished “almost irrelevant” by Paul Roos and accused of tanking by former player Brock McLean, and will have even more to lose if they don’t get over 17th placed Gold Coast.

McLean opened a can of worms accusing his former club of ‘tanking’ in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, implying they deliberately lost games to receive priority draft picks. Premiership coach Roos branded Melbourne as “almost an irrelevant football team” and highlighted the fact the Demons had only won 16 quarters for the season, where they sit in 16th place with only two wins.

First year coach Mark Neeld has highlighted the inexperience of his team, pointing out that there had only been one game this season where his team had more games experience than their opponents – GWS – which the Demons won.

The Demons are coming into the clash after a 54 point loss to North Melbourne in a game where they matched the Roos for two quarters, yet leaked points in the first and third quarters. Their previous two games have seen losses of 28 and 34, and GWS win aside, their unexpected victory over the Bombers must seem like a lifetime ago.

Untimely injuries – with Daniel Nicholson likely to miss three weeks with his broken jaw and Ricky Petterd injuring his hamstring in the VFL – and Neville Jetta’s one match suspension means the window is open for the likes of Cale Morton, Jordan Gysberts, Michael Evans and Luke Tapscott to press for selection. Jack Watts – the supposed reward for the dismal Demons 2008 and 2009 season’s is no certainty to start, yet a big game from him will do wonders for the Melbourne faithful.

Gold Coast met the ladder leading Sydney Swans last round and suffered an eventual 72-point loss, after a competitive first half. The Suns have had a good few weeks of football with a victory over Richmond in Cairns and a closely fought Q-Clash which saw them lose to the Lions by nine.

Gary Ablett has been particularly prominent, notching up 42 disposals against the Swans and 37 against the Lions. The Suns will welcome back promising forward Sam Day, with Aaron Hall, Kyal Horsley and Sam Iles in the selection mix.

Melbourne need to stand up as a footy club, and put the off-field cloud behind them with a win on the field and. hopefully for their sake, will be too good for the Suns at home.

Demons by 28.

Red-Hot Suns Record First Win

RICHMOND 2.2 4.3 10.7 13.10 (88)
GOLD COAST 4.2 7.9 9.9 13.12 (90)

Karmichael Hunt makes his way to the mark.
Round 16, 2012 – Karmichael Hunt takes stock. Fox Footy

The Gold Coast Suns have won their first game of the year in sensational circumstances at Cazaly Stadium on a warm night in Cairns.

Richmond, who led by 10 points with less than 30 seconds left in the match, were outdone by a fantastic Jarrod Harbrow running goal and a quite unbelievable after-the-siren conversion from Rugby League convert Karmichael Hunt.

In a game that is sure to be remembered for a long time, it was Hunt’s 30-metre kick that went sailing through the big sticks to the delight of the Queensland crowd after Brandon Matera found his famous teammate with a desperate snap with just a second on the clock.

Hunt’s goal condemned Richmond to their second loss to the Gold Coast in as many years and to a certain frosty reception from the loyal Tiger Army upon their return to Melbourne.

The game started in spectacular fashion from Gold Coast, with the struggling and winless Suns getting off to a multiple goal lead in the second quarter and leading by four goals at halftime.

With the Gold Coast in front at quarter time for the sixth time, it all seemed to be going downhill as a Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio inspired outfit fired to lead the Tigers to a slim three quarter time buffer.

With the Suns out on their feet in the last quarter and former Hawk Campbell Brown dropping a number of golden opportunities to get his adopted side back into the match – it took an unlucky but careless 50-metre free kick against Addam Maric for kicking the ball away after a whistle to help the Gold Coast swing the momentum their way in the final minutes.

In-demand young midfielder Josh Caddy burst through the middle of the field to give the Suns their first, before former-Bulldog Jarrod Harbrow did the same moments later to reduce the margin to under a goal.

Substitute Aaron Hall played a major part in both goals but when Shaun Grigg cleared from the bounce with 20 seconds to go – all seemed lost.

Dion Prestia’s desperate smother changed that and with 15 seconds left, Trent McKenzie delivered a trademark barrel, which was to be picked up on the run by Matera and blindly sent the way of Hunt.

Immediately surrounded by star teammates Gary Ablett and Harley Bennell, Hunt sucked in a breath and converted from 30 metres out at a slight angle.

It was a fairytale ending, with the celebratory Suns scrub sure to be a timeless image in the future for the club.

Although the beloved, revered and presumably underpaid AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou had somehow found himself on a six-week hiatus during the season – he was said to be delighted at the news.

VOTES:

3 – Trent Cotchin was unbelievable for the Tigers with 38 possessions and 4-tackle game; surely the next Richmond captain after Chris Newman retires.
2 – Gary Ablett was standard, with a casual 33 disposal and 5 tackle game , topped off with 1 goal 1.
1 – Jack Riewoldt booted 5 in a losing side, though his typical theatrics overshadowed the dominant performance.

GOALS
Richmond: Riewoldt 5, Nahas 4, McGuane 2, Graham, Maric.
Gold Coast: J Hall 2, Matera 2, Hunt 2, Ablett, Benell, Hunt, A Hall, Brown, Caddy, Swallow.

INJURIES
Richmond: Ivan Maric (groin) replaced in the selected side by Angus Graham, Ben Griffiths (calf) replaced in selected side by Jeromey Webberley, Jake Batchelor (leg), Chris Newman (head)
Gold Coast: Nil

SUBSTITUTES
Richmond: Brett O’Hanlon replaced Jeromey Webberley in the second quarter
Gold Coast: Aaron Hall replaced Josh Hall in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Official crowd: 10,961 at Cazaly’s Stadium

Eagles Smash Suns

WEST COAST     8.3   11.5   17.11   25.16  (166)
GOLD COAST     2.3    4.8     5.9      5.10    (40)          

You could spend a lot of time analysing why West Coast are a vastly superior side to the team selected by the Suns, but it can be summed up most efficiently by one observation: It was the most extreme case of men against boys that you could ever imagine.

The Eagles took the role of the bully, beaten by someone their own size last week and ready to deal out punishment to a small child – or in this case, an infant – unable to fight back.

But the match in reality held more significance than that.

Hawthorn’s victory on Friday knocked the Eagles out of the top four for the first time this season, and with six teams seriously vying for four spots, percentage becomes paramount.

That was the attitude the Eagles took into the contest, and it showed. 10 seconds in and Dean Cox was lining up for goal from inside the goalsquare. Five minutes later and the Suns had only one possession – a rushed Gary Ablett kick which was marked by Andrew Gaff, who then kicked the Eagles third goal.

Matt Shaw provided some relief with a nice running goal, but by quarter time the score read 51-15 and it was clear that the Eagles were headed to a triple figure victory.

Nic Natainui was dominating the stoppages, his taps not only finding his teammates but finding them in attacking space. Matthew Priddis, Daniel Kerr, Luke Shuey, Scott Selwood, Matthew Rosa and Gaff all had at least 25 disposals and the collective height of their forward line was far too much for the Suns back half to handle.

Dean Cox, Quinten Lynch, Naitanui and Jack Darling combined for 11 goals, and provided the crumbing forwards the luxury of knowing exactly where the ball was headed at all times.

It’s not to say that there weren’t passages of play which highlighted the potential this Gold Coast side has, but the glimpses were too few and far between. Anything positive from the Suns was met with just a complete onslaught of possession and attack from the Eagles.

The Suns have had a rough year, and with a second wooden spoon looking likely it is obviously tough for the players to play with any sort of confidence at all. Against a side gunning for a double chance in the finals, they never really had a hope.

Votes

3) Schuey

2) Selwood

1) Naitanui

GOALS
West Coast:
 Lynch 4, Darling 3, Shuey 3, Newman 2, Naitanui 2, Hams 2, Cox 2, Hill 2, Kerr, S Selwood, Gaff, McGinnity, Hurn
Gold Coast: Ablett, Shaw, Patrick, Bennell, Dixon,

BEST
West Coast:
 Shuey, Masten, Kerr, Cox, Naitanui, Priddis, S Selwood, Gaff, Lynch
Gold Coast: Stanley, Bennell, Ablett, Shaw

INJURIES
West Coast:
 McKenzie (ankle)
Gold Coast: Harbrow (illness) replaced in selection side by Taylor

SUBSTITUTES
West Coast:
 Murray Newman replaced Andrew Gaff in the third quarter.
Gold Coast: Jeremy Taylor replaced Alex Sexton in the third quarter.

Reports: Nil

Umpires: McBurney, Dalgleish, Fila

Official crowd: 34,592 at Patersons Stadium