On a wet and windy morning at the Austworld Centre the SUNS VFL side enjoyed their first practice match of the season.

Players were greeted by driving rain and blustery winds in the first quarter, but the SUNS managed to adapt to the conditions quickly and had the ascendency early.

Eleven listed players were joined by SUNS academy top up’s to take on the Lions ahead of the practice match between

Elijah Hollands, who started on a wing was lively early with three shots on goal, while Joel Jeffrey marked strongly directly in front to kick the SUNS first goal.

Chris Burgess kicked beautifully from a set shot outside 50 to kick the SUNS second of the first term.

Sam Flanders was clean in tough conditions playing on ball highlighted in the second quarter when he broke away from congestion streaming inside 50 and found academy player Will Bella with a well weighted kick.

New VFL Head Coach Jackson Kornberg who was also making his debut in SUNS colours spoke at the conclusion if the match.

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VFL | Practice Match | Kornberg Post-Match

Jackson Kornberg after our practice match against the Lions.

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“It was fantastic for the boys to get out and play against proper opposition, we’ve been playing match simulation and intraclub’s for a couple of weeks now, but a great opportunity against a pretty good football program in Brisbane,” Kornberg said.

“I thought the boys were solid with their intensity and urgency around the ball and they applied the focus areas that we spoke about before the game, which was pleasing to see.”

Without wanting to single players out, Kornberg spoke about the efforts of midfielder Sam Flanders post-match.

“Sammy was super today, his ability to outnumber at the contest, put significant pressure on the ball and then his ball use was really good, something he’s been focussing on throughout the pre-season.”

First year player and Darwin academy graduate Sandy Brock was impressive in his first official hit out, barely losing a contest all morning.

“Sandy is a promising and developing key back and we’re really looking forward to watching him this year.”

“He had to play on a couple of big boys out there today, often undersized but he was rarely beaten. He puts strong effort and intent into every training session and that showed today.”

A tight contest that finished with the more experienced Lions outfit on top, Lions 55 - SUNS 37.