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Match Report: JLT2

JLT2 Highlights: Gold Coast v Brisbane The Suns and Lions clash in the JLT

Gold Coast has completed their pre-season with a grinding seven-point win over Brisbane at Southport but will be sweating on the results of a shoulder injury to Pearce Hanley.

Hanley dived to touch a ball right on his defensive goal-line early in the final quarter but slid towards the fence and appeared to dislocate his shoulder.

The running half-back had it popped back in before leaving the field in severe discomfort.

The injury slightly soured a 7.7 (49) to 4.18 (42) victory at a water-logged Fankhauser Reserve in a contest that was marred by plenty of rain.

It was the SUNS' second-straight win of the JLT Community Series after they accounted for Geelong in Townsville seven days earlier.

After jumping to a 23-point lead early in the second quarter, Gold Coast had to withstand plenty of pressure from an inaccurate Lions outfit.

It was hard to assess much from either team, so difficult were the conditions, but the attack on the ball from both was fierce and created a good contest.

Goals by Aaron Hall and Darcy Macpherson in the fourth quarter appeared to give the SUNS a match-winning lead, but Dayne Zorko kept the visitors in it with a soccered goal from 25m. 

The Lions had more scoring shots (22-14), more inside 50s (60-48), and more disposals (381-345), but could not capitalise.

Jarryd Lyons (33 disposals), David Swallow (25) and Aaron Hall (23) worked hard in the midfield, while Jarrod Witts offered plenty around the ground.

For the Lions, Dayne Zorko was terrific in his first game, finishing with 33 possessions, while youngster Jarrod Berry (15 and one goal) was clean in the tough weather.

Gold Coast dominated much of the first quarter, kicking the only two goals courtesy of Alex Sexton and Port Adelaide recruit Aaron Young.

Sexton's goal came after Tom Lynch out-bodied Dan McStay on the wing, picked up the loose ball and kicked it into Sexton's path who ran into an open goal.

Lynch had a solid game, but his high bump on Mitch Robinson in the third quarter may attract the attention of the match review scrutiny this week.

After the SUNS bolted to a big lead early in the second term, the Lions fought back, able to clear the congestion and get their outside run happening.

Lewy Taylor kicked a goal after a fortuitous pass from Nick Robertson and when Jarrod Berry converted from close range after Aaron Hall gave away a 50m penalty, Brisbane was back in it.

Gold Coast
: With a few spots in the SUNS' round one team still up for grabs, Will Brodie put his hand high in the air with a strong showing. Brodie, who played just three games in his debut season, finished with 18 disposals, 10 of them contested. The 19-year-old is strong and loves the wet conditions, and with the opening match in Cairns – often wet and slippery at this time of year – Brodie will come right into the frame.

Brisbane: Luke Hodge will deliver everything the Lions hoped for when they signed the Hawthorn champion. Hodge got through his first match strongly and looked as composed and clean as any player on the field. He often sat off his opponent and directed his backline teammates into position. Brisbane looked far more organised defensively than it did last week against Sydney.

Gold Coast
: After a quiet week against Geelong, Lachie Weller showed a few glimpses of his enormous talent. The former Freo midfielder finished with 20 disposals, but most impressively he ran at 60 per cent efficiency, which was exceptional in the conditions. Nick Holman moved a step closer to a round one appearance with his second-straight excellent showing. Holman had 13 disposals and five tackles, helping to lead the SUNS' forward pressure again. Aaron Young showed some glimpses of his class, kicking a brilliant first-quarter goal after snapping truly with the left boot from deep in the right forward pocket.

Brisbane: In his first game for the club, Luke Hodge was terrific. Playing in defence, the former Hawk racked up 16 disposals and organized the Lions' defence. No.1 draft pick Cam Rayner took a big step forward after his quiet debut last week. He had 13 touches, missing two shots at goal, and his nine tackles added plenty of value. Former Crow Charlie Cameron didn't get many chances and will be itching to get a run on a dry surface.

Gold Coast starts its 10-week road trip in round one with a match against North Melbourne in Cairns. The contest presents the SUNS with a great chance to get their season off on the right foot. The Lions will travel to Melbourne to play St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in the opening round in Luke Hodge's first premiership game for the club.

GOLD COAST     2.1    4.6    5.7     7.7 (49)
BRISBANE         0.5    2.7    3.14   4.18 (42) 

Gold Coast: 
Lynch, Macpherson, Miller, Young, Sexton, Hall, Ainsworth
Brisbane: Taylor, Berry, Robertson, Zorko 

Gold Coast: 
Lyons, Witts, Weller, Hall, Swallow, Fiorini
Brisbane: Zorko, Berry, Bell, Taylor, Rich, Hodge

Gold Coast: 
Hanley (shoulder)
Brisbane: Nil

Reports: Nil

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs