The Gold Coast SUNS returned to the winners’ circle with the win over Sydney on the weekend and subsequently regained a place in the top eight on the ladder.
It was a four-quarter performance which got the job done for the SUNS and the team at SUNS Media have broken down some key takeaways from the match.
First-year midfielder Noah Anderson had a breakout game for the SUNS on Saturday evening. The SUNS rookie was everywhere against Sydney, finishing the match with 15 disposals, five marks (career-high), three tackles (career-high) and a goal. What was equally impressive was Anderson’s seven score involvements and 369 metres gained.
Incredibly, the 2019 number two draft pick has gone largely unheralded so far this season but is starting to earn the plaudits he deserves after a standout Round 7 performance. The 19-year-old is growing in confidence every game and that is evident in the way he’s performing on the field.
Rankine’s brilliance no fluke:
Those who haven’t seen much of Izak Rankine could have been excused for thinking his Goal of the Year contender in his debut match was just a lucky result. But after seeing an equally impressive mid-air poke for a goal to get proceedings underway for the SUNS against Sydney, that train of thought needs to be reconsidered.
Rankine has serious skill, but it’s something he works hard to perfect at training. It even prompted Stuart Dew to say this post-match: “I probably shouldn’t be surprised because he can do stuff like that.” Rankine is an expert at creating an opportunity out of nothing and making the opposition pay. This Thursday he’ll play his first match at Metricon Stadium which is exciting for SUNS members and fans to get their first look of him in action live.
SUNS are ready for primetime:
This week the Gold Coast will play in its first-ever primetime slot when it takes on the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium on Thursday evening. In 2020 the SUNS have become one of the most watchable teams in the AFL, built off the back of the exciting brand of football which has been developed under Stuart Dew.
In 2020 the SUNS have showed fight. Barring Round 1, the SUNS have been competitive in every match and found ways to win the matches they should have which hasn’t always been the case in the past. Against Sydney, it wasn’t all on Gold Coast’s terms but the SUNS held their nerve in the final quarter to seal the game late. That’s a quality that is required in the big games and will be tested in Thursday’s primetime clash against the Bulldogs.