JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Suns lose Ablett but defeat Collingwood

Date
Gary Ablett leaves the field with an injury during the match against Collingwood on Saturday.

Gary Ablett leaves the field with an injury during the match against Collingwood on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

GOLD COAST 2.2 5.3 8.7 11.14 (80) COLLINGWOOD 4.3 6.8 6.13 10.15 (75)
Goals: Gold Coast: S Day 4 C Dixon 2 T Lynch 2 A Hall D Prestia H Bennell. Collingwood: B Kennedy 2 C Young 2 T Cloke 2 J Thomas P Seedsman S Sidebottom T Goldsack.
Best: Gold Coast Suns: Swallow, Day, O'Meara, Lynch, Bennell.May. Collingwood: Pendlebury, Beams, Sidebottom, Kennedy, Goldsack, Witts.
Injuries: Gold Coast: C Dixon (calf) G Ablett (shoulder) S Lemmens (concussion) T McKenzie (hamstring).
Umpires: Ben Ryan, Jacob Mollison, Mathew Nicholls.
Official Crowd: 24,032 at Metricon Stadium.

It happened in the ninth minute of the third quarter: Gold Coast Suns defender Kade Kolodjashnij popped the ball up a little too high for Gary Ablett's comfort. Ablett's shadow, Brent Macaffer, closed to make the spoil, then tackled Ablett into the turf. The distress on Ablett's face was immediate.

The champion was straight down the race, his shoulder dislocated - the first serious injury Ablett has sustained in his time at the Suns, and one that will surely test his young team's mettle in the weeks ahead like never before.

Lachlan Keeffe of the Magpies and Charlie Dixon of the Suns compete for the ball.

Lachlan Keeffe of the Magpies and Charlie Dixon of the Suns compete for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

Time
Q4 31:34
Team
GCFC
Score
11.14.80
Team
COFC
Score
10.15.75
Gold Coast versus Collingwood
View Match Statistics
Players Day (4.1), Lynch (2.3), Dixon (2.1), Bennell (1.2), Hall (1.2), Prestia (1.0), Kolodjashnij (0.1), Sexton (0.1) Scorers Cloke (2.3), Young (2.3), Kennedy (2.0), Goldsack (1.0), Seedsman (1.0), Sidebottom (1.0), Thomas (1.0), Beams (0.2), Swan (0.2), Witts (0.1)

But Brownlow medal markets, and the results of Ablett's scans on Monday, would have to wait. In the meantime, the Suns still had a game to win: a match they'd managed to claw their way back into, in no small way due to Ablett, who'd begun to climb on top of Macaffer

Collingwood, having established a handy lead, was kicking itself out of a contest it should have already had in its keeping. From the moment Tyson Goldsack sent through a long bomb seven minutes into the second quarter, the Pies couldn't hit the side of a barn: they had 10 behinds in a row.

The longer it went, the more Collingwood's delivery inside 50 disintegrated, and the more the Suns, after a terrible start, gained in belief. They'd just hit the front, courtesy of a wonderful piece of evasive play by prodigy Jack Martin, who delivered the ball to Tom Lynch on a plate.

Travis Cloke of the Magpies and Steven May of the Suns compete for the ball. Click for more photos

AFL Round 16, Gold Coast vs Collingwood at Metricon Stadium.

AFL Round 16, Gold Coast 11-14-80 Defeated Collingwood 10-15-75 by 5 points at Metricon Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

But they were running out of men. Charlie Dixon, who'd dominated Lachie Keeffe, was already wearing the red vest with a sore calf. By early in the last quarter, Trent McKenzie was gone for weeks with a torn hamstring. Sean Lemmens had a gash spouting blood over his eye and was off with concussion.

Less than half way through the last quarter, the word went out to the Suns: there were literally no men left to rotate. The final tally was 105 to 78.

No matter the ultimate cost, you really couldn't talk up a Suns victory more after that, the home side raising its intensity to destroy the shell-shocked Magpies. Their best win? Don't even ask. And what to say of Collingwood, unable to overrun its crippled opponents? Perhaps that's best left to coach Nathan Buckley.

There were heroes, and villains too. Sam Day's fourth goal, in the 25th minute, gave the Suns a 10-point break. Day had been on the verge of being dropped, but the Suns' three-pronged tall forward line is a hard one to counter, and even though young Ben Kennedy replied immediately for the Pies, it was enough to get the job done.

And then there was Clinton Young, who dropped a sitter in front of goal 15 metres in the clear. Had he marked and kicked truly, the Magpies would have been in front, and likely held on. Young, whose kicking had been a weapon early in the match, had lost his mojo entirely; despite being a solid contributor, he will long rue this game.

David Swallow was a prime mover for the Suns, a bull at the clearances and a leader in Ablett's absence with 31 possessions. Jaeger O'Meara again showed poise beyond his years. The Magpies just couldn't call on that depth of leadership, despite Scott Pendlebury again being among their best. Dane Swan was particularly poor.

Really, they should have buried the game long earlier. After an early goal to Tom Lynch, Young had bobbed up with two goals, the second a trademark shot from beyond 50. Cloke, meanwhile, was getting so much of the ball (nine possessions in the first quarter alone) that Steven May had to be replaced by Rory Thompson.

Between them, Cloke and Young could have finished the Suns off by half time, until afflictions, both familiar and bizarre, struck.

First, Cloke managed to poke himself in the eye while trying to gather a bouncing ball. Then he did the same to his team, spraying two simple shots on his return. Young also missed twice, and a paltry return of two goals followed by 10 behinds - in a row - simply begged to be punished after the Magpies had spent far longer in attack.

Forget the Magpies being just a game from top spot ahead of the match. They are pretenders. Their final eight spot is not even assured. The Suns? They will suffer for this victory, and everyone will be sweating on the result of Ablett's scans. But this was a win for the ages.

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

AFL 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers