It was another thrilling match against St Kilda on Saturday, with the last three encounters between the two sides decided by less than a goal.
The Saints got over the line in the fourth quarter on this occasion, winning by four points in a scrappy affair.
In good news, the SUNS NEAFL side managed a win on the weekend over reigning premiers Southport.
Some takeaways from the weekend have been broken down below.
When the SUNS played St Kilda in Round 1 of 2019, the Saints held off a late surge by Gold Coast to win by a solitary point. But it was the instance before that, in Round 13 of 2018, which the Saints replicated on this occasion.
Trailing by 31 points at the final change in that game, the Saints stormed home to record a two-point win. This time, the 31-point Gold Coast lead was midway through the third term, which St Kilda overturned to win by four points. It was a disappointing drop-off for the SUNS which cost them the match and marks the sixth time this season a Gold Coast match has been decided by less than a goal. The close affairs are nothing new at this stage of the season and each occurrence is a learning opportunity to help the team close out games in the future.
In just his fifth AFL match, Ben King continues to impress. The 202cm key forward kicked two goals on the weekend playing on a much more experienced opponent in Nathan Brown. While he ran out of steam as the match wore on, King’s first half leaves SUNS fans with plenty to look forward to.
The 18-year-old finished with nine disposals against the Saints, but impressed with his overhead marking, taking five grabs for the day with three inside 50. He was rewarded with four set shots on goal in the first half. King’s last three weeks have been massive for his development, with the forward showing why he was one of the highest-rated players in last year’s draft pool. It’s just his first season playing against men and he’s already making an impact on the big stage.
While the seniors toiled away in Townsville, the SUNS NEAFL team was compiling one of its best performances of the season. With only four players over 20 years of age in the line-up, the young SUNS jumped out of the blocks with three goals in four minutes to begin proceedings.
Intensity and composure was the hallmark in the SUNS’ upset win, with the final margin resting at 15 points in Gold Coast’s favour. Michael Rischitelli was inspiring, finishing with 32 disposals, nine tackles, nine clearances and a goal. The win over Southport keeps a five-year winning streak against the cross-town rivals in check.