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NEAFL win keeps finals hopes alive

SUNS TV: NEAFL Update - Round 17 Gold Coast Development Coach Aaron Rogers spoke to SUNS TV about the NEAFL win over Sydney and Round 17 against Brisbane

The SUNS NEAFL side recorded their second win over Sydney this season on Saturday, keeping them in the race to play NEAFL finals in September.

Sydney’s NEAFL side were entering the round with a nine-match winning streak under their belt, but the SUNS proved too strong on the day, surging into the NEAFL top-six in the process.

The win was also Gold Coast’s second-ever over Sydney at NEAFL level.

“It was a great weekend for the club as I think everyone’s been riding that wave this week,” SUNS Development Coach Aaron Rogers told SUNS TV. 

“But it started with the NEAFL team, it was a pretty tough first couple of quarters… (but) I think it was six goals to three in the last (quarter) so it was really impressive that it was a real grinding affair.”

Brayden Fiorini and Michael Barlow continued their hot streak of form since returning from injury, guiding the team over the line with 42 and 50 disposals respectively.

“Brayden and Mick had huge games as did all our midfielders,” Rogers said.

Dawson, Rosa in his first game back and a few Academy guys rolling though there as well did really well. 

“We were more impressed with their ability to follow instruction but also execute the contest and play a team game.

“There wasn’t any kick-chasing or anything, it was a real team performance.”

The NEAFL played a curtain-raiser to the AFL game at the SCG, and Rogers said both performances reflected the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

“It definitely helps when the AFL guys turn up and see the NEAFL guys playing a good brand of footy, but I think both performances just reflect the preparation of the past couple of months,” he said. 

“I don’t think you roll out on a Saturday and just dish up what we did, I think the club as a whole has been working really hard to deliver that and it was just good to get the reward finally with a W which we’ve all been waiting for a while at senior level.

“But on a weekend where we both put in good performances it was certainly a nice trip home on the plane with the NEAFL and AFL team together after some big wins.”

The NEAFL team will play another blockbuster curtain-raiser this Saturday at Metricon Stadium against the in-form Brisbane Lions, with a win giving Gold Coast a stronger grip on sixth position on the ladder.