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NEAFL Preview: Round 11 v Suns

Bryce Heaton  June 9, 2017 11:44 AM

Overflowing with an almost full contingent of listed players, the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns face off in the ultimate test of depth. For fans of both clubs, a win is more than just the four points, but an indicator of whose future in the AFL is brighter.

Josh Schache, who put pen to paper with Brisbane yesterday, makes his return after a short layoff. Schache will form an ominous quadruple pronged attack with Matt Hammelmann, Jono Freeman and Michael Close. Meanwhile former Lions club champion Michael Rischitelli makes his return 11 months and one day after rupturing his ACL against his old side.

On this season’s record you could be forgiven for thinking a Lions outfit fresh off the bye would canter this one in but it’s very unlikely to be the case – with both sides’ engines firing on all cylinders, this one could go right to the line. When the clock strikes twelve and the Sherrin strikes turf at Brendale, expect a battle of heavyweight proportions.


12:00pm, Saturday 10 June
South Pine Sports Complex, 620 South Pine Road, Brendale


Brisbane Lions (3rd): WLLWW
Gold Coast Suns (6th): LWLLW


Round 4, 2017: Brisbane 16.13 (109) def Gold Coast 9.10 (64) at Metricon Stadium
Round 15, 2016: Gold Coast 14.15 (99) def Brisbane 15.7 (97) at Metricon Stadium
Round 9, 2016: Brisbane 22.18 (150) def Gold Coast 5.8 (38) at The Gabba


The midfield match-ups are tantalising with Ben Keays and Darcy Macpherson going head-to-head as ball winners, Tom Bell versus Mitch Hallahan in the clinches, Matt Shaw and Rohan Bewick on the outside: the list goes on and on. Both engine rooms have crushed their last opponents, the Suns bulldozing Southport last week and the Lions blitzing Aspley the week before. With the degree of difficulty cranked up it will be enthralling to see who comes out on top in the guts.


Number crunching reveals the different game style of the two clubs. The Brisbane Lions sit first in the comp for marks (108 per game - 20 clear of the next highest), short kicks (98 per game) and effective kicks (148 per game), which shows their preference to pick apart the opposition with patience and precision. Meanwhile the Suns are first for long kicks (53 per game), uncontested possessions (234 per game) and handball receives (138 per game). These stats, coupled with the fact the Suns are dead last for centre clearances shows the Gold Coast like to strike hard and fast off the rebound.

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR… Josh Schache 

This mantle could have gone to a number of players, but by the sheer weight of media scrutiny, the big week tag goes to the newly re-signed Josh Schache. The 19-year-old has resisted the (speculated) fat carrots of Victoria in order to put his massive potential to good use in the river city. A big performance in the NEAFL could reignite his confidence and mark the start of a future star’s long march to the top.


B #24 - Liam Dawson
#14 - Josh Walker #45 - Jack Frost
HB #20 - Cedric Cox #42 - Mitch Hinge #29 - Alex Witherden
C  #8 - Rohan Bewick #7 - Tom Bell #37 - Jacob Allison
HF #39 - Corey Lyons #33 - Michael Close #47 - Reuben William
F #48 - Blake Grewar #23 - Josh Schache #40 - Matt Hammelmann
FOL #46 - Oscar McInerney #17 - Claye Beams #1 - Ben Keays
INT  #11 - Cian Hanley
#16 - Jarrad Jansen #19 - Josh Clayton
  #21 - Sam Skinner #34 - Jono Freeman  
#41 - Matt Eagles #53 - Campbell Walker  #54 - Luke O'Sullivan

IN: Ben Keays, Claye Beams, Josh Clayton, Josh Schache, Matt Hammelmann, Jack Frost

OUT: Ryan Harwood, Matt Eagles, Reid Gordon, Campbell Walker, Luke O’Sullivan

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