Harris Andrews takes a make for the Lions. Picture: Getty Images
Harris Andrews takes a make for the Lions. Picture: Getty Images

Suns signal their intent in trial win

GOLD Coast has burst Brisbane's bubble while blowing oxygen into its own ambitions with a commanding 33-point victory in their scratch match at Metricon Stadium.

The Suns kicked the first eight goals of the match and kept Brisbane goalless for the opening two terms of Saturday's trial match and although the Lions equalised over the final stanza, the message had been sent.

Their pressure rattled the Lions early and their ball use was superior in the 13.8 (86) 7.11 (53) victory in front of a healthy crowd of over 4000.

Gold Coast could not have scripted a better start with their top two draft picks Izak Rankine and Jack Lukosius kicking the first two goals of the match.

Both were fine examples of the pairs' elite skills.

Rankine, who booted two goals, in particular would now have one hand on a Round 1 jumper.

The Suns would also have been thrilled with the performance of big man Peter Wright, who took a series of strong contested marks around the ground, and Jack Bowes, who stood out in the midfield.

However, the umpires have asked the MRP to have a look at a clash with Alex Witherden after halftime.

Izak Rankine impressed for the Suns. Picture: Getty Images
Izak Rankine impressed for the Suns. Picture: Getty Images

For Brisbane the return of Charlie Cameron was one of the few highlights. The electric forward booted two goals and was a constant menace with his pressure.

Archie Smith was also able to continue the pressure he has been applying to number one ruckman Stef Martin by being the clear winner in the ruck.

Brisbane's experiment with Harris Andrews lasted three frustrating terms before he was sent back to defence.

The two men they recruited to boost their contested ball winning - former Docker Lachie Neale and ex-Sun Jarryd Lyons also had slow starts to their careers as Lions.

The highly rated pair began to work into the game in the third term but they then sat out the majority of the second half.

Gold Coast has been quietly confident all summer of its ability to silence the critics this season and Saturday's showing could not have provided coach Stuart Dew with any greater confirmation.

Gold Coast’s Brayden Crossley competes for the ball with Brisbane’s Oscar McInerney. Picture: Getty Images
Gold Coast’s Brayden Crossley competes for the ball with Brisbane’s Oscar McInerney. Picture: Getty Images

"It is positive, I think internally we have been really confident with the work we have been doing,'' he said.

"And hopefully, number one, our supporters see we have got some really good players and they are starting to gel and they want to be here and are invested and they showed that today.''

What made the performance even more impressive was they picked a second string side that was missing Jack Martin, Jarrod Harbrow and Lachie Weller due to Friday night's AFLX tournament as well as their core of the senior playing group including leaders David Swallow, Touk Miller, Pearce Hanley and Jarrod Witts.

Brisbane also had skipper Dayne Zorko and veterans Daniel Rich and Luke Hodge absent due to AFLX and were unable to consider Darcy Gardiner, Marcus Adams, Martin and Allen Christensen.