The Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast SUNS will meet for the first time in the VFL for 2023, and to make it more interesting there is a top two spot up for grabs.

With the Lions two points behind the top-of-the-ladder SUNS ,a win would see Brisbane leapfrog their Queensland rivals and into home final contention.

This matchup shapes as a shootout with the top two attacking teams of the competition going against each other.

Lions VFL coach Ben Hudson recognises what is on the line at Heritage Bank Stadium but isn’t making a big deal out of it.

“It is a big game on Saturday but for us it is about focussing on the process,” he said.

“We’ve had two solid wins in a row and we’ve done it in two different ways.

“If we can bring our best on Saturday, it’ll put us in a really good position to come away with a positive result.

“The SUNS are a good side, they are on top of the ladder for a reason, so it’ll be a great contest.”

The SUNS also come into the clash off the back of two wins, which only adds to the mouth-watering matchup between two of the VFL’s heavyweights.

Players to watch

Nakia Cockatoo

An unsung hero of the Lions VFL side in 2023, Cockatoo provides more than just his average of 16 touches and three tackles per game.

The half-forward gives the Lions forward line another string to their bow, Cockatoo has booted at least one goal in his last five outings.

Not only his ability his front of goals but his defensive presence around the contest means Cockatoo is key to the Lions’ ability to attack with freedom.

Darryl McDowell-White

Another of the Lions small forward brigade, McDowell-White has been silky with his ball use and tireless on defence.

McDowell-White is another Lion who enjoys hitting the scoreboard having kicked a goal in his last four matches.

Known for his ability to finish freaky goals, the Lions small forward is an ever-present threat on the offensive end.

Last time we met

Round 18 in 2022 was the last encounter between the two Queensland rivals as the SUNS prevailed in a classic by two points at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex.

Leading by five goals midway through the second term, the SUNS clawed back to take the lead by the fourth quarter, holding on in a grandstand finish.

Deven Robertson and Kai Lohmann were enormous for the Lions both kicking a goal and having 25 and 22 touches respectively.

Tom Fullarton led the forward line booting four majors from 15 disposals.

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