The SUNS will come out of Wednesday night’s QClash disappointed not to have been more competitive against cross-town rivals Brisbane who have surged to second place on the ladder.
Gold Coast was fresh off a 10-day break but struggled to keep up with Brisbane who kicked out to an early lead, eventually running out 13.10 (88) to 6.7 (43) winners
It was a difficult night for the SUNS after tearing the Kangaroos apart before heading into a Bye.
The club’s young stars were quiet; small forward Izak Rankine battled to get involved, Ben King finished with two goals but had little influence against fellow youngster Jack Payne, while Connor Budarick struggled to contain Charlie Cameron.
Better days lie ahead for these young guns and they will learn plenty from the experience of playing the Lions.
It was the club’s two off-season recruits Brandon Ellis and Hugh Greenwood who did the heavy lifting for the SUNS, with each recording 25 disposals in the midfield.
Pleasingly, the SUNS were able to win the contested possession count on the night (123-119), but there were other areas of Gold Coast’s game which was more costly.
Despite Jarrod Witts having the ascendency in the ruck, Brisbane’s midfield brigade won the clearances convincingly and out-tackled the SUNS.
The SUNS also lacked polish when trying to move the ball forward, missing targets due to the pressure applied by the Lions.
Lachie Neale (33 disposals, 19 contested) enhanced his Brownlow Medal chances with another prolific display, netting him a second Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield.
The SUNS have a four-day break until the club’s next assignment, taking on Collingwood at the Gabba next Monday.
BRISBANE 5.4 8.6 11.10 13.10 (88)
GOLD COAST 1.0 4.3 5.5 6.7 (43)
Brisbane: Rayner 3, Cameron 2, Zorko 2, Berry, Hipwood, McCarthy, McCluggage, McStay, Robinson
Gold Coast: Corbett 2, King 2, Weller, Ainsworth
Brisbane: Neale, Rayner, Zorko, Hipwood, Cameron, McCluggage, Rich
Gold Coast: Ellis, Anderson, Greenwood, Ainsworth
Brisbane: Starcevich (concussion), Berry (shoulder)
Gold Coast: Nil