Saturday, July 20, 2019
Brisbane Lions (1st) v Gold Coast SUNS (8th)
Gabba, 3.45pm


An exciting NEAFL QClash looms at the Gabba this Saturday, with the undefeated Lions set to lock horns with the desperate SUNS in the AFL curtain raiser.

What to say about the Lions that hasn’t been said already. 12 games, 12 wins at an average winning margin of 73. Brisbane’s thriving AFL side is reflective of the experienced and thirsty Lions NEAFL side, who will be eager to impress in front of a home crowd.

Nick Malceski’s SUNS need to put together at least a solid showing this weekend, following a 50-point loss to Sydney University. An upset win could propel the eighth-placed Gold Coast into the top six, but a four-quarter effort needs to be seen for the SUNS to be considered a genuine chance for September.


In: Robertson, Ballenden, Cumberland
Out: Hinge (injured), Starcevich (injured), Reville (omitted)

B#42 Madden#41 Eagles#14 Walker
HB#19 Allison#40 Payne#18 Robertson
C#28 Taylor#8 E Smith#34 Wooller
HF#39 C Lyons#21 Skinner#45 McFadyen
F#38 Ballenden#13 T Berry#20 Cox
FOL#44 A Smith#36 Mathieson#4 Bastinac
INT#51 Coleman#54 Cumberland#47 Fullarton 
 #32 Joyce#1 Keays
EMG#52 Matthews#50 Griffiths


Round 10, 2019: Brisbane 10.9 (69) defeated Gold Coast 5.9 (39) at Metricon Stadium
Round 4, 2019: Brisbane 24.15 (159) defeated Gold Coast 9.8 (62) at Metricon Stadium
Round 20, 2018: Brisbane 17.15 (117) defeated Gold Coast 3.8 (26) at Metricon Stadium


  1. Brisbane has won their previous six NEAFL outings against the SUNS. The Gold Coast’s last win came in round 20 of 2017, coincidentally also being the last match the sides played at the Gabba.
  2. The centre bounce battle will be a fascinating one this Saturday, with Archie Smith and Tom Nicholls likely to be going head-to-head. Both big men are stuck behind their respective senior ruckmen Stefan Martin and Jarrod Witts for AFL match-time, and will be looking forward to going up against a similarly placed opponent. Ruck on.
  3. The Brisbane Lions could very well end up taking to the field with only listed players. Of the four players on the injury list, only Mitch Hinge is a certainty to not play. Tom Cutler, Hugh McCluggage and Eric Hipwood are all listed as a ‘test,’ so all may feature at either level this weekend. It’s hardly a shock the Lions have been so strong this NEAFL season, with a consistently shallow injury pool.


SUNS Academy member Connor Budarick is doing all the right things in his press to become the Gold Coast’s third NEAFL Rising Star nominee, and potentially a draftee come the year’s end. The U18 All Australian had a team-high 21 disposals to go with six tackles to be named the SUNS’ best on ground in the loss to Sydney University last week. Some serious talent. Keep an eye on number 56.


In their previous encounter, despite the Lions almost doubling Gold Coast’s score, the sides won two quarters each. The SUNS struggled to convert with a 36% accuracy, compared to Brisbane’s 53%. For a side that has limited scoring opportunities, it’s vital they make the most of their chances if they’re to challenge the Lions.