Main content

NEAFL: Match Preview, Round 2


Harrup Park, Mackay

Saturday, April 14 at 6.30pm



The Gold Coast SUNS and GWS GIANTS will travel up to Mackay to play a highly anticipated Round 2 match, as both sides will be looking to continue the form which saw them record Round 1 wins. The SUNS were able to control the third quarter to beat Aspley by 20 points in a very hard-fought contest.

The GIANTS also won an incredibly tight contest beating last years’ grand finalists Sydney by four points. With a number of players from both teams very close to AFL selection, expect this match to be no different.


Round 18, 2017: Gold Coast 15.13 (103) d GWS GIANTS 10.12 (72)
Round 6, 2017: Gold Coast 18.14 (122) d GWS GIANTS 10.11 (71)
Round 1, 2017: GIANTS 19.11 (125) d Gold Coast 15.7 (97)


1. The midfield battle could be set to be very entertaining led by two veterans – Michael Barlow for the SUNS and Ryan Griffen for the GIANTS. Both players played exceptional games last week as they continue to push for AFL selection. Jesse Lonergan and Jacob Dawson were impressive for the SUNS last week, but will need to play well again if they are to win. The SUNS will be without ruckman Tom Nicholls, and with 2017 NEAFL Team of the Year ruckman Dawson Simpson lining up for the GIANTS it will make life harder for the SUNS midfield.

2. Bragging rights are up for grabs between GIANTS coach Adam Schneider and Gold Coast coach Nick Malceski. The former Sydney Swans teammates have both taken on the head NEAFL coaching roles this year and this match will be the first time one of them will be able to get the upper hand.

3. This week’s match in Mackay could be a welcome homecoming for two SUNS Academy products, Riley Dreghorn and Harrison Arnold. Dreghorn, who hails from Mackay City Hawks, played in the 2017 Grand Final for the Hawks but has now moved to the Gold Coast to pursue his football career. Arnold, from the Eastern Swans, also came through the SUNS Academy. Both players are in line for selection and if they feature, would be keen to put on a show for their friends and family at home.


Mackay local and Gold Coast Suns Under-19 Academy player Riley Dreghorn is an exciting prospect. The 19-year-old basketball convert kicked one goal last week in his NEAFL debut and was important in the ruck when Tom Nicholls went down. He will need to play a similarly important role this week, in what is a great chance for him to show his talent, back in his hometown.


The last seven times these sides have played the team that has won contested ball has won the match. Last week, the GIANTS lost contested ball against Sydney but still won the match. Whereas for the SUNS, it was one of the only key performance indicators they beat Aspley in. So it will be interesting to see who can win that contested ball, and what that means for the result of the match.



34. Mackenzie Willis

21. Jack Leslie

48. Brodie Foster


26. Harrison Wigg

37. Josh Jaska

2. Jack Scrimshaw


36. Josh Schoenfeld

45. Jacob Dawson

50. Emmanuel Baru


18. Brad Scheer

20. Michael Barlow

42. Connor Nutting


31. Charlie Ballard

40. Jacob Heron

47. Timakoi Bowie


32. Brayden Crossley

41. Will Brodie

7. Jesse Lonergan


54. Jayden Verdoorn 51. Kwaby Boakye

53. Ari Miles

58. Riley Dreghorn



52. Riley Buckland



IN: 53. Ari Miles, 32. Brayden Crossley, 40. Jacob Heron

OUT: 27. Wil Powell (AFL), 43. Max Spencer (AFL), 22. Tom Nicholls (injured)