Suns Look Forward To New Dawn in Q Clash

Image courtesy of news.com.au/Adam Head/Gold Coast Bulletin
Charlie Dixon has been a revelation in a ruck/forward role. Image courtesy of news.com.au/Adam Head/Gold Coast Bulletin
Last Four Meetings

Round 17, 2012 – Brisbane Lions 59 d Gold Coast Suns 48
Round 4, 2012 – Brisbane Lions 111 d Gold Coast Suns 46
Round 21, 2011 – Brisbane Lions 123 d Gold Coast Suns 61
Round 7, 2011 – Gold Coast Suns 124 d Brisbane Lions 116


Form

    Rd 1      Rd 2   
Gold Coast   W  L
Brisbane   L  L


The Suns may well be feeling the pinch, though, after a tough couple of games to start 2013. Several players had issues with cramp during the Saints clash which was played on a humid evening on the Gold Coast, while last week they slugged it out with a physical Sydney side in muddy conditions at the SCG. The reigning premier struggled to break free until kicking away with six goals in the final term as the Suns succumbed to fatigue. Recruit Greg Broughton comes back in to the team, although experienced former Hawk Tom Murphy is out with a shoulder problem.

There is no doubt Brisbane improved on its awful round one showing in going down to Adelaide by 19 at the ‘Gabba last Saturday. Michael Voss’s team had every chance to win that match, though, and probably would have done so if they hadn’t been so wasteful in front of goal in the second half when they returned 4.12. It has the potential to become a massive issue with the Lions kicking double the number of minor scores compared to goals over the first two weeks (17 goals – 34 behinds). Claye Beams is out with a long-term knee problem, while promising South Australian forward Sam Mayes is set to make his AFL debut.


Key Men

(Suns) Charlie Dixon – After watching him run around in his debut for the Suns in a 119-point flogging by Carlton, Jonathon Brown said Charlie Dixon had all the attributes to be a quality player. Judging by the first two weeks of this season, ‘Browny’ may have unintentionally undersold the boy from Cairns. He was very good against St Kilda with two goals and 16 touches, but last week against the competition’s yardstick he was superb. Going toe-to-toe with Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke on a day when there were plenty of ball-ups, Dixon finished with 18 disposals, 21 hit-outs and three goals. The fact he spent as much time in the ruck as Zac Smith says a lot about how much this young man has improved since probably the last six weeks of 2012. Brisbane couldn’t contain young Crows big man Josh Jenkins who finished with 12 marks across half-forward last week, so a big game from Dixon or Sam Day would go a long way to securing the four premiership points.

(Lions) Andrew Raines – For three-and-a-bit quarters, Andrew Raines did a very good job shutting down Patrick Dangerfield. But as the most talented tend to do, Dangerfield broke free to kick two vital final quarter goals which secured the win for Adelaide. This week he’s likely to face an even tougher shutdown job on Gary Ablett Jnr . The Swans managed to keep him relatively quiet last week, but as St Kilda found out to their peril, Ablett has game-breaking abilities which few others in recent history possess. If Raines doesn’t limit his influence, then it could be curtains for the visitors.


Prediction

Apart from what was a strange match in the first Q Clash, Gold Coast has really struggled to kick a respectable score against Brisbane, managing the grand total of 22 goals in three full games. The Lions’ midfield and forward line has hardly set the world on fire in the opening two weeks of the season, so chances are this could be another low-scoring arm-wrestle, like the one that played out in round 17 last year. The Suns have the match-winner in Gary Ablett Jnr , but the Lions just have the edge across the park…only just, though. Lions by 15 points

Click here to bet on AFL Round 3 Matches