Suns get chance to shine

Gold Coast looked at life without Gary Ablett in the midfield, and saw that it was good.
Gold Coast looked at life without Gary Ablett in the midfield, and saw that it was good. Morne De Klerk

GOLD Coast looked at life without Gary Ablett in the midfield, and saw that it was good.

The alarm bells were ringing last week when it was confirmed the Suns skipper would be out for the next few rounds with a knee injury.

The best player in the game who had been in the best form of his career missing, what hope would Gold Coast have, especially against an in-form North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon?

Well, the Suns proved that not having their brightest star to rely on might be the best thing for the development of their lesser lights.

As we said this time last week, 'time for a few kids to stand up. Afterall, it's not healthy for one player to be picking up more than 40 disposals a game'.

The kids did stand up, and it wasn't just in the absence of Ablett, but also fellow experienced players including midfielder Michael Rischitelli and defender Jarrod Harbrow.

The Suns had 95 less touches than the Roos, and would go on to lose by 34 points, but were up by a point at half-time after producing their most productive quarter ever (7.3) and looking like they might just pull off an amazing upset.

After being thrashed by Adelaide, St Kilda and Brisbane and beaten by Essendon, they put in their best performance of the season.

No-one got anywhere near 30 touches, let alone 40 - with one of only three Suns in the match with more than 50 games, Jared Brennan, gathering a team-high 24.

Importantly, the load was much more evenly shared, especially when it came to all-important clearances, David Swallow (4), Harley Bennell (4), first-gamer Kyal Horsley (4), Karmichael Hunt (5) and Josh Caddy (5) relishing the greater responsibility.

God forbid, you leave Ablett out. He will be back in a few weeks - as long as his fingers hold up from all his tweeting - but if the youngsters can keep progressing in that time, the Suns coaching staff should look at playing him forward more often.

As Whitney Houston once sang, 'the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way'.
As well as the benefits it would bring to those rising stars in the midfield, Ablett could use his strength and creativeness to make an even bigger impact on the scoreboard. Like dear old dad, he does love a goal or five.

It was better signs for the AFL's battlers all-round over the weekend.

In Canberra, the Western Bulldogs' No.1 ticket-holder, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, had a major scare, and it wasn't just because AFL chief Andrew Demetriou was sitting a little too close for comfort, in between her and partner Tim Mathieson, in the Manuka Oval stand.

GWS had won their first opening term after keeping her beloved Doggies goalless.
The spirited Giants would eventually be overrun by 42 points, but Jeremy Cameron, who slotted five goals, again showed he will be an absolute gun, while big Izzy Folau again showed he is making real progress.



COLLINGWOOD 2.4 5.6 9.8 11.14 (80)
Goals: Cloke, Swan 3; Blair 2; Sidebottom, Jolly, Beams.
Best: Swan, Clarke, Pendlebury, Beams, Wellingham, Toovey.

ESSENDON 1.3 3.6 7.8 11.13 (79)
Goals: Davey 3; Zaharakis 2; Monfries, Hocking, Howlett, Lonergan, Dell'Olio, Stanton.
Best: Zaharakis, Heppell, Howlett, Dyson, Lonergan.
Crowd: 86,932 at the MCG on Wednesday.


CARLTON 2.1 6.2 9.4 10.5 (65)
Goals: Garlett, Walker, Robinson 2; Hampson, Waite, Betts, Simpson.
Best: Simpson, Gibbs, Murphy, Robinson, Scotland, Walker.

FREMANTLE 1.2 3.9 4.10 7.15 (57)
Goals: Hill, Mayne, Ballantyne, Clarke, Pavlich, Crowley, McPharlin.
Best: Hill, Duffield, Mzungu, Pavlich, McPharlin, Crowley.
Crowd: 38,847 at Patersons Stadium on Friday.


WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.5 8.9 12.12 15.14 (104)
Goals: Higgins, Cooney, Dahlhaus 2; Cordy, Djerrkura, Boyd, Griffen, Jones, Sherman, Wallis, Picken, Grant.
Best: Griffen, Cross, Picken, Boyd, Higgins, Cooney.

GIANTS 2.4 5.5 8.6 9.8 (62)
Goals: Cameron 5; Hampton 2; Bruce, T Adams.
Best: Cameron, Bugg, Power, Greene, Davis, Townsend.
Crowd: 9128 at Manuka Oval on Saturday.


NORTH MELBOURNE 4.9 8.13 14.22 17.25 (127)
Goals: Petrie, Thomas, Edwards 3; Harper, Adams 2; McIntosh, Harvey, Cunnington, Macmillan.
Best: Swallow, Macmillan, Atley, Cunnington, Thomas, Bastinac.

GOLD COAST 2.5 9.8 10.12 12.16 (88)
Goals: Brown, Day, Bennell, Dixon 2; Illes, Lynch, Swallow, Russell.
Best: Bennell, Horsley, Swallow, Bock, Hunt.
Crowd: 17,680 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.


ST KILDA 5.4 8.5 10.9 12.12 (84)
Goals: Wilkes 3; Milne, Steven, Riewoldt 2; Stanley, Montagna, Hayes.
Best: Hayes, Fisher, Dal Santo, Milera, Wilkes, Armitage.

MELBOURNE 4.1 8.3 10.6 10.6 (66)
Goals: Jones, Bail 2; Moloney, Bate, Watts, Davey, Dunn, Bartram.
Best: Jamar, Jones, Rivers, McKenzie, McDonald, Grimes, Magner.
Crowd: 24,798 at the MCG on Saturday.


GEELONG 4.1 7.5 10.6 12.7 (79)
Goals: Hawkins 6; Chapman 2; Corey, Duncan, Motlop, Selwood.
Best: Hawkins, Chapman, Christensen, T.Hunt, Selwood, Taylor.

BRISBANE LIONS 0.5 0.7 1.9 4.17 (41)
Goals: McGrath, Rockliff, Black, Brown.
Best: Rockliff, Rich, Hudson, Black, Redden.
Crowd: 15,528 at the Gabba on Saturday.


SYDNEY SWANS 2.2 5.4 9.7 16.10 (106)
Goals: Goodes, Kennedy 3; O'Keefe, Bird, Bolton 2; McVeigh, Jack, Jetta, Hannebery.
Best: Kennedy, Richards, Goodes, Bird, Hannebery, O'Keefe.

HAWTHORN 5.3 8.6 8.6 10.9 (69)
Goals: Roughead 5, Hale, Lewis 2; Rioli.
Best: Roughead, Burgoyne, Lewis, Guerra, Schoenmakers.
Crowd: 19, 217 at Aurora Stadium on Sunday.


WEST COAST 5.3 11.6 12.11 16.11 (107)
Goals: Darling 4; Hill 3; Lynch, Masten, Hams 2; Cox, Kennedy, S Selwood.
Best: Kerr, Priddis, Gaff, Darling, Natanui.

RICHMOND 4.2 9.4 12.9 14.13 (97)
Goals: Miller 3; Vickery, Riewoldt, Martin, Jackson 2; Cotchin, Ellis, Maric.
Best: Martin, Cotchin, Foley, Deledio, Grigg.
Crowd: unavailable.

Topics:  afl gold coast suns

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Linking Alms for locals

LINKING ALMS: Donna Erikson and Margaret Boland from the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre are busy preparing hampers..

Local organisation asking for donations to bring Christmas cheer.

Emergency services' generous donation

GENEROUS LOCALS: Emerald Emergency Services present cheque to Emerald Neighbourhood Centre.

Emerald emergency services have made a generous donation.

Discover region's jewel

The Capella Lighthorsemen.

Discover your own backyard: Capella focus

Local Partners

Dreamworld scare: "We were in line but went on other ride"

Emerald's Sue Baguley was visiting Dreamworld with her family when the tragic accident happened.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Walk into Wonderland this weekend

The committee from last year's Sip in Style who are planning this year's event.

Sip and Style is on this Saturday night in Clermont.

Come along to open day

The Gemfields Ambulance Station.

THE Gemfields Ambulance Station is holding an open day.

Mariah Carey and James Packer discussing relationship

Mariah Carey and James Packer are discussing how to work things out

January Jones: Take time away from your phone

January Jones needs time away from her phone

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Orlando Bloom 'buried' Katy Perry in birthday flowers

Orlando Bloom "buried" Katy Perry in flowers for her birthday

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!