The undefeated Brisbane Lions proved too strong for the SUNS in the NEAFL on Saturday, running out 30-point victors at Metricon Stadium.
Gold Coast challenged Brisbane in the second and fourth quarters, but it was the Lions’ polish which helped it to the 5.9 (39) to 10.9 (69) win.
The SUNS allowed the Lions to burst out the gates early with a five-goal opening term, before stemming the flow to win the second quarter.
Gold Coast Development Coach Tate Kaesler said it was ultimately the team’s slow start which cost them in the end.
“Obviously playing against the best team in the competition you can’t give them that sort of advantage,” Kaesler told SUNS Media.
“Our second and fourth quarter we were really happy with, we were able to peg it back and a lot of that came off the back of our contested footy.
“We’ve just got to keep working on our defence and keep putting more pressure on and then try to score some more easy goals off turnover.”
Michael Rischitelli battled hard through the midfield all day and finished with 22 disposals.
In his third game back since a quad injury, Callum Ah Chee had his best performance, kicking two goals from 23 disposals and giving the side some spark and run out of defence.
“I’m feeling really good and it’s good to be out there playing footy again and enjoying it and being around the boys,” Ah Chee told SUNS Media post-match.
“About time I kicked some goals, I hadn’t kicked one in a while so it was nice.
“We couldn’t get over the line today but we’ve got to take that forward now.”
Given more time in the midfield this week, Corey Ellis was another who looked sharp and tackled hard.
Jacob Dawson continues to be reliable in defence and compiled 18 disposals while Jez McLennan had 19.
For the Lions, Ryan Bastinac was lively and finished with a game-high 35 disposals while Connor McFadyen kicked three goals.
The SUNS’ next NEAFL match will be against Southport at Fankhouser Reserve Saturday June 15 at 1:30pm.
SUNS: 1.2 3.6 4.6 5.9 (39)
LIONS: 5.3 6.6 9.9 10.9 (69)
SUNS: Ah Chee 2, Day, Koenen, Nicholls
LIONS: McFadyen 3, Wooller 2, Bastinac, Coleman, Currie, Joyce, Jeffrey
SUNS: Ah Chee, Ellis, Rischitelli, Dawson, McLennan
LIONS: Bastinac, Lester, Christensen, McFadyen, Hinge