Suns too hot for sloppy Swans

The Suns ruthlessly punished a vulnerable Sydney as rays of hope shone from Metricon Stadium in the Gold Coast’s 40-point win over the Swans on Saturday afternoon.

After embarrassingly conceding 11 goals to the Western Bulldogs in the first half last week, the stung Suns put their throat on the injury-hit Bloods and rarely relented to claim their second win of 2021.

The Suns kicked nine goals to two across the second and third quarters to seal the premiership points with full forward Ben King booting a personal best of five goals with three of them coming in the third term.

The Swans were without their first choice full-forward (Lance Franklin), ruckman (Tom Hickey) and fullback (Tom McCartin) and lost George Hewlett (concussion) in the first quarter after a sickening head clash with Sam Flanders.

Sydney’s Nick Blakey also suffered a leg cork in the first term and was a hobbling passenger for the rest of the match.

And the Suns showed little mercy as the Swans also did themselves no favours by continually butchering the ball to fall to their second-straight loss after bursting out of the gates with four victories to open the season.

The Gold Coast led by seven points at quarter-time, 22 points at halftime and 49 at the last change with Touk Miller (36 disposals, nine tackles, nine clearances, six inside 50s) and Noah Anderson (34 disposals, six clearances) the midfield stars as the Suns claimed their first win over Sydney at Metricon Stadium.

King had help in the goalkicking department with Ben Ainsworth (three), Izak Rankine (two) and Josh Corbett (two) hitting the scoreboard multiple times.

Swans veteran duo Josh Kennedy (41 disposals, 22 contested possessions, 11 clearances, seven tackles, seven inside 50s) and Luke Parker (36 disposals, nine clearances, four inside 50s) battled manfully for Sydney but received little support.

The Suns scored 100 points for the first time since 2018.Source:Getty Images

BLOODS BRUISED

The brutal nature of an AFL season is catching up with the Swans. Sydney was the competition’s darling after wins over Brisbane, Adelaide, Richmond and Essendon with their style of play earning rave reviews in the first four rounds. They were pipped by GWS last week, hit by injuries and were thoroughly owned by the Suns. The young guns are looking tired. And that stunning victory over Richmond seems a long time ago now for Sydney who made far too many poor decisions and succumb to the Gold Coast pressure.

UNSUNG SUN

Touk Miller probably does not get the credit he deserves. He was a major driving force for the Suns in the first half with 20 touches, eight contested possessions, five clearances and four inside 50 entries to set-up the win. The midfielder is as tough as they come and has a ridiculous workrate. While the talented haul of draft picks in recent years get much attention, the old school Miller – who was the only player on the field with his socks pulled up – is every bit as important.

RANKINE ON SHOW

Excitement machine Izak Rankine booted a goal only he and a select few could kick in the second term. He swooped on the loose ball in heavy traffic not far from the Gold Coast goals, was swung around and managed to put boot to ball. It sailed through the posts to help the Suns make the most of their dominance. Rankine also caught the eye with eye-catching stints in the midfield. By full-time he had 18 touches, 10 contested possessions, five tackles, two goals and two scoring assists.

SUNS SHINE IN DAYTIME CLASH

You cannot beat daytime footy. Advocates for the night-time grand final can bang on about the spectacle of fireworks and TV ratings etc. But the football is simply better when the sun is shining, the ground is dry and the Sherrin is red. The contrast between the standard of football at Metricon Stadium on Saturday compared with the error-riddled clash between the Suns and Carlton two weeks ago on a hot and humid night when the football was like a cake of soap, was stark.

Score:

SUNS: 4.2 8.2. 13.6. 15.10 (100)

SWANS: 3.1 4.4. 5.5. 9.6 (60)

Goals:

SUNS: King 5, Ainsworth 3, Rankine 2, Corbett 2, Holman, Greenwood, Weller

SWANS: McLean 2, Heeney, Papley, Wicks, Florent, Rowbottom, Haywood, Warner

Greg Davis’ best:

SUNS: Miller, Anderson, King, Swallow, Greenwood, Rankine, Ellis

SWANS: Kennedy, Parker, Mills, Lloyd, Warner

Injuries:

SUNS:

SWANS: George Hewett (concussion), Nick Blakey (corked leg)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Greg Davis’ votes:

3: Touk Miller

2: Noah Anderson

1: Josh Kennedy

Crowd: 9819

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