The SUNS Reserves continued the trend of setting the tone for the AFL side early in the day with a dominant display over the Western Bulldogs in a scratch match at Metricon Stadium.
It was a comprehensive performance across all eight periods by Gold Coast and SUNS Media have outlined some key takeaways below.
Pressure players make their mark:
The effort by the SUNS was underpinned by some quality defensive efforts from the team’s best pressure players. Sam Fletcher was prominent all match playing in a hybrid mid/forward role, laying some crucial tackles to cause turnovers which would lead to scores.
In the forward line it was Jy Farrar and Malcolm Rosas Jnr who did the damage. The pair formed a deadly one-two punch combo when working together inside 50, continually keeping the Bulldogs’ defenders under pressure. On the other side of the ball they were just as influential. Farrar is growing in confidence with every game he plays and kicked three important goals. Meanwhile Rosas Jnr showcased his blistering pace with some scything runs through the middle of the field and also chipped in with two goals of his own. Overall there was plenty to like from these young SUNS.
The making of Murtagh:
This match was a breakout game for young forward Patrick Murtagh. The SUNS Academy product kicked four goals in his most impactful game for the year. Murtagh’s marking was a feature of his game as well as his improved leading patterns which has been a focus over the last month.
Murtagh has showed promise in his matches this year with the attributes needed to succeed, but was yet to really make his mark on a game. That changed this week as everything seemed to click and the 19-year-old blossomed in confidence as the match wore on. Murtagh even had a stint in a Bulldogs guernsey to even up the numbers but still found a way to impact with some strong marks in a foreign system. This will be a performance he can use as a benchmark to know he’s capable of the level required.
Corbett continues to press:
One of Gold Coast’s best players on the day, Josh Corbett continues to stake his claim for an AFL recall. The versatile forward kicked three goals, but could have easily had more as he selflessly set teammates up in better positions inside 50. His team-first attitude is a huge asset of his and allows him to continue to impact games even if he’s not scoring the goals himself.
Corbett read the ball superbly in the forward line and was able to win some crucial marking contests inside 50. He had five scoring shots and even more score involvements which is something he can hang his hat on.
The 24-year-old has been one of the most consistent players in recent scratch matches and is ready for his AFL recall whenever the chance may arise.