The first hit out of the 2022 season ended brightly for the SUNS, upsetting Port Adelaide by 21 points at Metricon Stadium on Friday afternoon on the back of three goals from free agent recruit Mabior Chol.

Chol and Josh Corbett (two goals) offered plenty alongside Levi Casboult in a forward line expected to also welcome back Jack Lukosius for its AAMI community series game in ten days’ time, after the loss of Ben King.

They weren't the only ones to impress in the 11.10 (76) to 6.19 (55) victory, with one-gamer Alex Davies (two goals) putting his hand up for a round one berth, and Izak Rankine in blistering touch.

It was a victory that had plenty of contributors and avenues to goal.

Sam Powell-Pepper (hamstring) and Scott Lycett (ankle) both failed to see out the game with injuries.

They squandered plenty of chances around goal, but in truth were outplayed by the SUNS in slippery conditions.

While Chol, whose best effort came with a fourth quarter pack mark and goal, and Corbett cashed in around goal, it was the midfield that really impressed against Travis Boak, Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines and young star Zak Butters.

Aside from All-Australian Touk MillerNoah Anderson and Matt Rowell were influential, while Brayden Fiorini also got plenty of ball.

Davies made the most of his opportunity, throwing himself into contests against bigger bodies and finishing superbly around goal, including a 50m bomb on the quarter-time siren.

Davies played one game last season, in the final round, but looks right at home at senior level.

Ned Moyle showed he’s got plenty to add in the ruck department, showing what he can provide as an understudy for Jarrod Witts. The young ruckman was impressive against the experienced Lycett early with his tap work and pressure once the ball hit the deck.

Lachie Weller and Jeremy Sharp also showed plenty of pace for the victors.


With Hugh Greenwood (North Melbourne) and Will Brodie (Fremantle) both departing in the off-season, there's a vacancy in Gold Coast's midfield that Alex Davies seems desperate to fill. While the SUNS Academy product spent most of his time at half-forward, with little stints in the middle, he could not have been more impressive with his clean hands, good skills and defensive pressure.


Gold Coast looked to give itself more run from defence by moving Lachie Weller from the wing to half-back, and the move paid off handsomely. Weller was magnificent with his run-and-carry and penetrating kicking and should be a lock there for the start of the season.

If you're looking for some value, former No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell might be your man. Rowell (MID, $464,000) was busy for most of the day against Port, and although he didn't kick any goals, was at the bottom of most packs and got his fair share of disposals. Keep an eye on him against Geelong next weekend as he continues an uninterrupted pre-season.

GOLD COAST             6.2       8.5       10.8     11.10 (76)
PORT ADELAIDE      1.5       1.10     3.13     6.19 (55)

Gold Coast: Chol 3, Corbett 2, Davies 2, Sharp 2, Rankine, Sexton
Port Adelaide: Gray 2, Sinn, Powell-Pepper, Mayes, Amon