Are the Suns actually good?
This would not be anywhere near as tricky to answer if not for the Suns starting the 2019 season 3-1 too. Then, if you wanted to be negative, there is a question over the quality of their opposition with Adelaide, West Coast and Fremantle all mired in the bottom four in 2020.
We aren’t going to be negative this time around though and are getting on the bandwagon early. While we aren’t going to make any outlandish predictions as to where they will finish this season, we think this is the beginning of something special.
How the game was won.
With the Suns looking to continue their impressive form and the Dockers desperate to open their account for 2020, this became one of the most gripping encounters of Round Four. Remarkably, despite the differing pressures confronting both teams, neither registered a behind in the first half as the Suns took a one goal lead into the long break.
Suns Rookie Matt Rowell continued his standout introduction to the AFL, with his 20-possessions and two goals sure to be rewarded on Brownlow night. Life on the coast is certainly agreeing with former Tiger Brandon Ellis who along with Jarrod Witts also had standout games for the Suns.
In the absence of Nat Fyfe, who suffered a hamstring injury, Darcy Tucker, Matt Taberner and Michael Walters were the stars for the Dockers. Their efforts seeing scores level at three-quarter-time and the stage set for an epic finish.
Goals to Jack Lukosius and Ben Ainsworth would prove the difference in the final term. They were enough to see Gold Coast see off a gallant Fremantle team by 13-points.
What the coaches said.
While acknowledging improvement, Justin Longmuir lamented familiar flaws as costly in the match. “Centre bounces is an issue for us and it has been all season and clearly our ball movement out of our back half – I thought we took some steps forward tonight at certain periods of the game – were not a team that can bounce out of our back fifty,” he told reporters.
Stuart Dew praised his team for weathering everything the Dockers threw at them. “We were all really impressed at the way they just stuck at it,” he told reporters post match. “It wasn’t perfect tonight and the way they were able to grind it out and then obviously with the game on the line – we were under the pump and they were coming really hard – just some really key moments.”
GOLD COAST 2.0 7.0 8.2 10.4 (64)
FREMANTLE 3.0 6.0 8.2 8.3 (51)
Gold Coast: King 2, Sexton 2, Rowell 2, Ainsworth 2, Day, Lukosius
Fremantle: Walters 2, Bewley 2, Schultz, Taberner, Matera, Tucker
Gold Coast: Rowell, Ellis, Witts, Miller, Lukosius, Ainsworth
Fremantle: Tucker, Walters, Taberner, Young, Bewley, Hogan
Gold Coast: Nil
Fremantle: Fyfe (right hamstring)