The Brisbane Lions return home in week two of the Smithy’s VFL Finals Series after going down to the Gold Coast SUNS on Saturday night first Qualifying Final.
Heritage Bank Stadium played host to the first all-Queensland final in AFL/VFL history, with the SUNS jumping out to an early lead and running away with the 19.13 (127) to 12.12 (84) win.
The SUNS burst out of the blocks booting the first two of seven goals in the opening two minutes, putting the Lions on the back foot.
Goals from Kyle Dunkley and Wylie Buzza stemmed the flow to bring the margin back to one kick.
Jarryd Lyons returned to the VFL in fine fashion, collecting a team-high 32 touches along with 11 clearances to lead the Lions midfield against a strong SUNS engine room.
Nakia Cockatoo opened the Lions scoring in the second term as the game descended into an arm wrestle.
The SUNS continued to pepper the Lions defence before finally breaking through for three goals in 10 minutes to hold a 32-point lead at the main break.
Harry Sharp was strong for the Lions, continuing his good run of form with 21 possessions, six marks and five tackles.
Darcy Fort battled hard in the ruck all day against Ned Moyle, finishing with 24 hitouts and eight clearances.
The Lions booted the first goal through Academy product Jack Manly as both sides traded goals throughout the quarter as Kai Lohmann and Bruce Reville hit the scoreboard.
The SUNS were able to withstand the Lions pressure leading by 35 points at the final change.
A strong start to the fourth quarter saw the Lions boot the first goal as Coleman kicked his second for the match.
The SUNS then booted the next four goals to put the game beyond the Lions reach.
Lohmann and Reville’s second along with a major from Henry Smith saw a fight back from the Lions, but the SUNS booted the last two goals to secure the 43-point win.
The Lions take on Williamstown in Saturday’s semi-final with the first bounce at 1:15pm at Brighton Homes Arena.
Gold Coast SUNS (127) def Brisbane (84)
Goals: Lohmann 2, Reville 2, Coleman 2, Smith, Manly, Fullarton, Dunkley, Cockatoo, Buzza
Best: Lyons, Joyce, Sharp, Lohmann, Fort, Coleman