The Gold Coast SUNS have gone down to the Brisbane Lions by 28-point’s in their only fixture of the AAMI Community Series at Metricon Stadium.
Gold Coast looked a completely different outfit in the first half from the one beaten by 47 points by the same opponent just nine days prior.
After a slow start last week against the same opposition, the SUNS again conceded three of the first four goals, before responding with six unanswered goals of their own.
A young SUNS side highlighted some of their best in the first quarter with Alex Sexton’s first goal of the night coming after some swift ball movement down the interchange side wing. Through the hands of Charlie Ballard, Connor Budarick, Touk Miller and then Budarick again before Sexton took a mark and snapped from 45m out on the angle.
Gold Coast's reigning Club Champion, Sam Collins, got through his comeback from a foot injury unscathed, playing a strong first half before being managed in the second half.
The SUNS had a 29 point lead late in the first half, but Brisbane came out firing in the second half kicking 7.8 to 0.2 from a whopping 25-5 inside 50 count.
The fourth quarter became a shootout at both ends, but the SUNS will be ruing a quiet third quarter.
Wil Powell was fantastic in defence, Lachie Weller (29 and one goal) was dynamic around the ball and Matt Rowell (20 and seven clearances) was solid.
Richmond recruit Oleg Markov had a strong outing for the SUNS, gathering 21 disposals and offering plenty of run from the wing and half-back.
Round one chance
For the Suns, Alex Sexton ensured his name would be read out for the opening round against West Coast after being dropped twice last year. Sexton was at his goal-poaching best, kicking six majors from 14 disposals. Will Brodie and Darcy Macpherson also did enough to ensure their spots.
The Suns had a clean slate and should regain young whiz-kid Izak Rankine for its season opener after his slightly tweaked an ankle last week.
The most popular player in AFL Fantasy Classic, Matt Rowell (MID, $574,000), scored 59 from 70 per cent time on ground. Rowell's 54 per cent of owners may think twice about starting the former No. 1 Draft pick as he managed just one mark and two tackles, stats he would generally have several of in a game.
GOLD COAST 3.3 8.5 8.7 13.11 (89)
BRISBANE 3.0 5.0 12.8 18.9 (117)
Brisbane: Cameron 4, Daniher 3, Bailey 2, Fullarton 2, Zorko 2, Berry, Hipwood, McCarthy, Robinson, Sharp
Gold Coast: Sexton 6, Day 3, King 2, Brodie, Weller
Brisbane: Neale, Zorko, Bailey, Berry, Rich, Cameron
Gold Coast: Weller, Sexton, Powell, Miller, Ellis
Brisbane: Rayner (knee)
Gold Coast: Nil
Crowd: 1962 at Metricon Stadium