After a quiet month, Ben King was back to his best booting five goals from seven disposals on top of taking six marks. King had ample attention after what he described as a “sluggish” month of football. He did not let that worry him kicking the first two SUNS goals for the match and really taking control inside the forward line with his big presence and contested marking ability. King’s ability to limit Harris Andrews proved pivotal in the SUNS dominance.
The Future Looks SUNNY
Two young SUNS showed that they belong at the highest level. Bailey Humphrey (10 contested possessions and three tackles) and Sam Flanders (32 disposals and seven marks) were pivotal around the ground against the Lions. With a star-studded midfield it took a team mindset to allow these boys to play a bit more around the footy. Matt Rowell played more minutes at half forward, allowing the likes of Humphrey and Flanders to gain more exposure in the centre.
The SUNS had not won a QClash in the previous nine attempts. Since 2018, the Brisbane Lions have had the measure over the SUNS, but with an attacking style of play, the SUNS were able to belt the Lions by 41 points, an 84-point turnaround to when they last matched up at the Gabba in Round 10.
The Premiership Quarter
Wildly spoken as the ‘Premiership Quarter,’ the third term is well-known as a make-or-break quarter. The Lions are regarded as one of the best third-quarter teams in the competition. Edging Brisbane out five-goals-to-three and continuing that game style for the rest of the match was fundamental in the SUNS walking away with the four premiership points.
Touk’s Fantastic Four
Gold Coast SUNS captain, Touk Miller was as important as any in the match against the Lions. Miller was as damaging as always finishing with 29 disposals and five tackles, however it is not just what he did around the ball. Miller’s ability to keep Lachie Neale quiet was essential in ensuring the SUNS were matching or beating the Lions in the contest. The SUNS won the clearance battle 41-37 (35-27 around the ground) which demonstrates the importance of the role executed by the SUNS leader who subsequently won his fourth Marcus Ashcroft Medal.
Top 4 Finish Locked In:
The SUNS VFL team were able to overcome a rocky start against the Lions start conceding the first seven goals before clawing back and reigning supreme with an 18-point victory. The SUNS have now secured a top-four finish in the VFL competition and will certainly be seen in September, securing a double chance. Midfield depth is evident with Charlie Constable (34 disposals), Brayden Fiorini (32 disposals and one goal), and James Tsitas (28 disposals and one goal) all making impacts in the victory. Forward Chris Burgess is also leading the pack for VFL goalkicking honours with teammate, Brodie McLaughlin trailing by one goal.