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Opposition Watch: Round 21 v Gold Coast SUNS

Michael Gosman  August 9, 2017 3:00 PM

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Times have been tough recently for our next opposition, the Gold Coast SUNS.

The AFL world was rocked by the news of Senior Coach Rodney Eade’s sacking on Tuesday morning, with Assistant Coach Dean Solomon taking over the reins for the final three matches of the season. 

Eade’s demise was brought to a head by the five-match losing streak the SUNS are currently experiencing, with the latest a 23-point loss to Fremantle last weekend.

Despite the long trip west, Gold Coast started the stronger of the two sides and slotted two goals in quick fashion.

Ahead by one-point at the first change, the SUNS were blown away in the second quarter as Fremantle rattled off five unanswered majors. 

After losing David Swallow pre-game and Aaron Hall during the second quarter, the SUNS were always facing an uphill battle to fight their way back into the contest.

The margin would never blow out, but the Dockers were able to stay ahead by a few goals for the majority of the contest, finishing 12.18 (90) to 10.7 (67) victors.

Winning contested ball by a considerable margin was a positive for Rodney Eade post-match.

"Stats aren't everything but when you are winning the contested possession by 37 it shows a real intent," Eade said.

"I think it shows the effort the players are putting in.

"It was galling the other way, the kicking disposal differential where we went at 57 per cent.

"That's the thing that hurt us."

Gary Ablett was at his usual damaging best for the SUNS, collecting 33 disposals. Former Lions player Pearce Hanley grabbed 24 disposals and a goal, while Tom Lynch and Peter Wright both slotted three goals each.

The loss leaves the SUNS in 15th place on the ladder, with any movement up the ladder unlikely before season’s end.  

Injury List

The SUNS have been besieged by injuries this season.

Key forward Tom Lynch suffered a season-ending knee injury in the loss to Fremantle, while ruckman Jarrod Witts is also out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Lions Health Centre: Injury List

Gary Ablett appears in doubt for the QClash with a nagging hamstring injury that has seen him miss four of the SUNS’ past seven games.

David Swallow (groin), Aaron Hall (hamstring), Ben Ainsworth (knee), Jarryd Lyons (ankle), Michael Rischitelli (knee), Jack Leslie (ankle), Brayden Fiorini (hamstring) and Brandon Matera are all a chance of returning to the side and will face fitness tests this week.