Brisbane picked up where it left off in 2019 with a 40-point victory over Gold Coast in the first NEAFL practice match of the year at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
The defending premier debuted some fresh new faces in a side featuring 20 AFL-listed players as they triumphed 10.9 (69) to 4.5 (29) in windy conditions.
Draftees Brock Smith, Devon Robertson and Jaxon Prior had their first match in club colours among a new-look squad containing only nine premiership players from last season.
Brisbane coach Mitch Hahn said there were some pleasing signs from the club’s emerging talent as the group continues to develop its connection with each other.
“Their (new draftees) awareness and work ethic around the footy club for the first 4-5 months that they’ve been here has been fantastic,” Hahn said.
“Jaxon Prior - we started him in defence and now we’ve given him some time on the wing. He is certainly developing his game and we’re happy with how he is going. Brock is showing some real aggression down back and thankfully we’ve got some good experience in our backline at the moment with Ryan Lester, Matty Eagles and these types, so he’s getting a good education from the senior players around him.
"Dev is really showing us why he was our first draft pick with his inside midfield ability and his work rate.
“What we wanted to get out of the game was the guys to start to build connections with each other and understand how we play, considering we’re going to be a completely different, and probably a pretty young team, this year.
“I felt like we got some of that connection right and that was the most pleasing part about the game.”
With a few injury concerns to manage, the SUNS had 12 AFL-listed players available with draftees Mally Rosas, Patrick Murtagh and Jy Farrar debuting for the club.
Other listed players to feature in the hit-out were Brayden Fiorini, Corey Ellis, George Horlin-Smith, Josh Schoenfeld, Nick Holman, Jacob Heron, Jacob Dawson, Sam Fletcher and SUNS Academy graduate Matt Conroy.
Gold Coast’s next practice match will be against Aspley at Graham Rd on March 7, and Brisbane will take on QAFL club Morningside.