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Suns turn the heat on Tigers

Date
Surrounded by Tigers, Gary Ablett of the Suns mulls his next move.

Surrounded by Tigers, Gary Ablett of the Suns mulls his next move. Photo: Getty Images

Gold Coast 5.4 6.7 7.13 12.15 (87) Richmond 3.1 5.6 6.7 10.9 (69)
Goals: Gold Coast: Stanley 2, Day 2, Lynch 2, Ablett 2, Prestia, O'Meara, Matera, Swallow. Richmond: Vickery 2, Vlastuin, Petterd, Riewoldt, Cotchin, Griffiths, Edwards, Martin, Deledio.
Best: Gold Coast: Ablett, Swallow, Prestia, Rischitelli, Harbrow, May. Richmond: Cotchin, Deledio.
Injuries: Gold Coast: Martin (shoulder), Dixon (concussion).
Umpires: R Chamberlain, S Meredith, B Ryan. Crowd: 19,425 at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast.

Here come the expansion clubs. After Greater Western Sydney's astonishing upset of the Sydney Swans, the match between Gold Coast and Richmond was delayed by 15 minutes, due to the storm in the harbour city and the demands of television.

But where no one predicted the Giants' victory, the Suns' performance to dispose of another team with an eye on the finals, Richmond, had an air of inevitability about it. Can the Suns make the finals? It's hard to see why not … they were blazing.

Time
Q4 32:17
Team
GCFC
Score
12.15.87
Team
RFC
Score
10.9.69
Gold Coast versus Richmond
View Match Statistics
Players Day (2.1), Lynch (2.1), Ablett (2.0), Stanley (2.0), Swallow (1.4), Prestia (1.1), Matera (1.0), O'Meara (1.0), Sumner (0.3), Harbrow (0.1), Rischitelli (0.1), Shaw (0.1) Scorers Vickery (2.0), Edwards (1.2), Griffiths (1.2), Riewoldt (1.2), Deledio (1.1), Cotchin (1.0), Martin (1.0), Petterd (1.0), Vlastuin (1.0), Newman (0.1)

The Suns effectively won this match in two red-hot bursts in the first and last quarters that destroyed the fancied Tigers. Gary Ablett added the icing, kicking his second goal with his 40th disposal of the night.

Ablett, of course, is still Ablett. But the gap is closing between the captain and his teammates. Dion Prestia, David Swallow and Michael Rischitelli were all outstanding. Even Danny Stanley, a player who's battled extremely hard to make it in the AFL, was among the best in the first half.

The game started at warp speed, Nick Vlastuin kicking an excellent goal on the run that finished a smart chain of handballs from the Tigers. The reply from the Suns, however, was swift and it was awesome. Prestia was first in, swooping on a loose ball in the goal square after Charlie Dixon buried David Astbury in a tackle.

Tom Lynch, the Suns' missing link for much of last year, then marked strongly and found Sam Day alone, also in the goal square. Ablett then streamed out of the centre from the next bounce before giving the ball to Stanley, who nailed the shot from beyond 50.

And finally, Jaeger O'Meara attacked a contest on the wing, snatched the ball with one hand from in front of an opponent coming the other way, and ran away to pot the Suns' fourth from close to the boundary line. All this in 10 minutes of skilled football.

Eight goals were kicked in the opening term, but just five followed in the next two as Richmond slowed the game down. In between, the Suns were unfortunate to lose debutant Jack Martin to a shoulder injury, and Dixon to concussion.

Slowly, though, the Tigers were working their way back into the match, with five out of seven goals either side of half-time bring the game back to almost level pegging.

Six minutes into the last quarter, it looked like the dam wall might finally burst. Tyrone Vickery slapped the ball down to Dustin Martin, who snapped over his shoulder to put the Tigers in front for the first time since the first minute.

But the reply, again, was emphatic. David Swallow broke a tackle at half-back before sprinting clear, propping, then driving the ball long to Lynch, who delivered. Dion Prestia, down the other wing, ran a couple of miles (between bounces) to find Day with another contested mark and goal.

These are the two forwards the Suns have been waiting on for years to click. Lynch is a prodigious talent but has spent more time off the ground than on it, while it's been unclear whether Day would be resettled in defence.

And Swallow, the Suns' first No. 1 draft pick, is starting to play to that billing. Ferocious at the contest and now playing a more attacking role, he all but put the match away for the Suns after intercepting a kick-in, then putting the ball back over the umpire's head.

Lynch added another for good measure. Game over.

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Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74 vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 Stats
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RIC 66 vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63 vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76 vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 Stats
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GEE 60 vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49 vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45 vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76 vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73 vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118 vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70 vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120 vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50 vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80 vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91 vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59 vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109 vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87 vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108 vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78 vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50 vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80 vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75 vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68 vs WCE 78 Stats
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Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82 vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119 vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155 vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57 vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120 vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135 vs GCF 43 Stats
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WBU 88 vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105 vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102 vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140 vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108 vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63 vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69 vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115 vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136 vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103 vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122 vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
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COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
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NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
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STK vs MEL 16:40ES
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
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CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
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Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
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SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
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BRI vs ADE 16:35G
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
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RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
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MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
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ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
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Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
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ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
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AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 8 8 0 0 155.29 32
Sydney Swans 9 7 2 0 134.49 28
West Coast Eagles 8 6 2 0 158.17 24
GWS Giants 8 6 2 0 118.87 24
Collingwood 8 5 3 0 129.90 20
Adelaide Crows 8 5 3 0 116.32 20
Hawthorn 8 4 4 0 145.81 16
Richmond 8 4 4 0 107.64 16
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