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NEAFL: Match preview, Round 17

NEAFL ROUND 17

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Gold Coast SUNS (6th) v Brisbane Lions (7th) at Metricon Stadium, 4:00 pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App

SUMMARY

The finals might not start until September, but for the SUNS and the Lions, they have basically already started.

With both sides fighting for sixth spot with the GIANTS, and all three of the teams playing each other twice in the last eight rounds of the season, it is like a mini finals series.

Despite losing to the Lions on two occasions earlier this year, the SUNS are playing their best at the moment, winning their last three games including an inspiring win over Sydney last week.

Gold Coast’s rich vein of form has forced Brisbane outside of the top six after their draw with the GIANTS last week.

Brisbane has improved from their disappointing middle of the season slump, losing by two points against Southport, beating Sydney University and last week’s draw, but they still have only won one of their last eight games.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 6, 2018: Brisbane 12.24 (96) d Gold Coast 0.4 (4) at Moreton Bay Sports Complex
Round 3, 2018: Brisbane 12.11 (83) d Gold Coast 5.6 (36) at Southpine Sports Complex
Round 20, 2017: Gold Coast 16.15 (111) d Brisbane 16.8 (104) at the Gabba

TALKING POINTS

1. Brisbane dominated Gold Coast in the contested ball (161-125) in Round 3 and (151-119) in Round 6. However, the Lions have been well down in contested ball which is one of their primary focus areas, for an extended period. Up until Round 8, Brisbane had won the contested ball every week but have only been able to win it twice since then.

2. Gold Coast was embarrassed by the Brisbane Lions back in Round 6 when they only kicked four points for the whole match. The SUNS and the Lions are very different outfits to back then, but the hunger and determination for revenge for Nick Malceski and his men will be high.

3. The third quarter is still the barometer for the Gold Coast SUNS. In every game this season except for the win against Redland, if the SUNS have won the third quarter, they have won the match, and if they have lost the third quarter they have lost the game.

STATS THAT MATTER

The Michael Barlow factor has been huge for the SUNS this year. In the six games Barlow has played, the SUNS have won five of them. In the eight matches Barlow (averaging 44.3 disposals a game) hasn’t played in, the SUNS have only won two.

TEAM:

B:

3. Matt Rosa

43. Max Spencer

2. Jack Scrimshaw

HB:

54. Tui Lowah

21. Jack Leslie

1. Pearce Hanley

C:

49. Brodie Foster

18. Bradley Scheer

51. Bailey Scott

HF:

9. Ben Ainsworth

58. Caleb Graham

53. Connor Budarick

F:

45. Jacob Dawson

53. Harry Simington

50. Emmanuel Baru

FOLL:

48. Lachlan McDonald

20. Michael Barlow

36. Josh Schoenfeld

INT:

47. Timakoi Bowie

56. Hewago Paul Oea

55. Dirk Koenen

57. Kwaby Boakye

EMG:

60. Jackson Brumley

46. Fitzroy Greenwool

52. Ryan Gilmore

26. Cooper Portelli 

 

IN:  36. Joshua Schoenfeld 9. Ben Ainsworth 1. Pearce Hanley 

OUT: 8. Brayden Fiorini (AFL) 29. Jack Bowes (AFL) 46. Fitzroy Greenwool (omitted) 52. Ryan Gilmore (omitted)