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NEAFL: Match Preview, Round 3

  - Gold Coast Suns,NEAFL

Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast SUNS

South Pine Sports Complex

Sunday, April 22 at 12pm


The 24th edition of the NEAFL ‘QClash’ will be an entertaining way to close out Round 3 of the NEAFL, with this match having the potential to go either way. The SUNS have started beautifully, winning their first two games, which is the first time they have done so since 2012. Their first game was a 20-point win against Aspley, which was set up by a good third quarter, and last week they were able to hold off the GIANTS to win by 21 points.

The Lions have started their premiership defence off well, although they lost to the NT Thunder in an absolute nail-biter in Round 1, going down by a point. Last week, the Lions opened the floodgates in the second-half of the Grand Final rematch against the Swans after an arm-wrestle first half to win by 50 points.


Round 20, 2017: Gold Coast 16.15 (111) d Brisbane 16.8 (104) at the Gabba.
Round 11, 2017: Brisbane 12.13 (85) d Gold Coast 11.14 (80) at SPSC.
Round 4, 2017: Brisbane 16.13 (109) d Gold Coast 9.10 (64) at Metricon Stadium.


1. Less than a month ago the Gold Coast SUNS beat the Lions by 25 points in a practice match at the exact same ground. Although a practice match, Gold Coast will have the confidence that they can beat the reigning premiers, and the Lions will have areas they will be wanting to improve on from that loss.

2. Without Tom Nicholls in the ruck for the SUNS, due to injury, draftee Brayden Crossley is going to have a huge task ahead of him against the formidable Archie Smith and Oscar McInerney combination. Crossley did well last week winning 46 hit-outs, but this week will be a whole new challenge against two of the best ruckman in the competition.

3. The Gold Coast SUNS’ tackling has been immense in the first two rounds. The SUNS are ranked No.1 in the NEAFL for tackles, with an average of 83 tackles in the first two matches. This had to be a focus for the SUNS in the pre-season as they are also ranked No.1 for tackles in the AFL. The Lions, on the other hand, are ranked last for tackles in the NEAFL with an average of 43 in the first two matches.


Broadbeach junior Connor Nutting has been impressive in his first two games of the year kicking four goals and being named in the best players last week. Drafted at pick 55 last year, the academy product has an exciting future ahead of him and will have an important role this week in making sure the SUNS kick a winning score against the reigning premiers.


As per usual, the contested ball and clearances statistic will be critical. The SUNS are ranked No.1 in the competition in both areas this year so far, whereas the Lions are ranked fourth in contested possessions, and are ranked last in the competition for clearances.



51. Kwaby Boakye

21. Jack Leslie

54. Jayden Verdoorn


34. Mackenzie Willis

37. Josh Jaska

26. Harrison Wigg


13. Callum Ah Chee

18. Brad Scheer

40. Jacob Heron


42. Connor Nutting

31. Charlie Ballard

27. Wil Powell


53. Timakoi Bowie

58. Riley Dreghorn

50. Emmanuel Baru


32. Brayden Crossley

45. Jacob Dawson

41. Will Brodie


43. Max Spencer 10. Kade Kolodjashnij

33. Aaron Hall

52. Brodie Foster 51. Corey Beaman



57. Josh Molloy



IN: 51. Corey Beaman, 27. Wil Powell, 13. Callum Ah Chee, 43. Max Spencer, 10. Kade Kolodjashnij, 33. Aaron Hall

OUT: 2. Jack Scrimshaw, 36. Josh Schoenfeld, 7. Jesse Lonergan, 52. Riley Buckland