Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh, those Gold Goast Suns...

North Melbourne have once again squandered a first-quarter lead as Gold Coast claimed a 15-point AFL win on Saturday night.
The Suns scored a 9.12 (66) to 8.3 (51) victory despite the Kangaroos booting four goals to none in the opening quarter to lead by 25 points at the first change.
Sparked by another stirring performance from captain Gary Ablett, who brilliantly set up a second-quarter effort for Luke Russell, the Suns kicked seven unanswered majors either side of halftime to gain the edge at a wet Metricon Stadium.
Ablett, Russell and Tom Lynch all booted two goals each for the home team, while Trent McKenzie was among the best on ground with a nine-mark, 25-disposal display.
Drew Petrie, Aaron Black and Lindsay Thomas kicked two goals each for the Kangaroos but it was a remarkable miss from Thomas in the first quarter which stood out.
The Kangaroos forward had done well to intercept a poor cross-field kick from Tom Lynch on the 50m arc before sprinting towards goal.
But, with the path to goal still clear, Thomas opted to grubber from 15m out and could only steer the ball onto the post.
Thomas responded to boot the first goal of the second quarter but for the next 40 minutes it was one-way traffic as the Suns dominated to pull in front of the struggling visitors.
By the time Daniel Wells kicked a goal for North in the third quarter the Suns had turned their early deficit into a 17-point lead.
Sam Gibson soccered a goal inside the opening minute of the fourth quarter but an inspirational run and goal from Ablett straight after halted the `Roos momentum.
From then the Suns held firm with Russell's second major sealing the home team's fifth win of the campaign and leaving the Kangaroos finals hopes hanging by a thread.
The Suns will face a nervous wait on star tall Charlie Dixon, who left the field in the final term after hurting his right ankle in his first game back from injury.
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said despite his comments pre-match about having a chance of over-running the Kangaroos if they could match them early, even he had his doubts after the first quarter.
"Clearly that wasn't the way we wanted to start," McKenna said.
"The other clubs have had to put that pressure on North to get that result and that was clearly what we had to do after quarter-time.
"Certainly a couple of our dopey mistakes in the back half of the ground really opened us up but I thought after quarter-time the boys showed a lot of poise, resilience and, again, our ability to run out the game I thought was super."
Kangaroos coach Brad Scott denied his men had a mental block despite holding a quarter-time lead in 10 of their 11 fixtures but only converting that into victory four times.
Scott said the loss to the Suns had more to do with an inability to adapt to the wet conditions as well as their opponents.
"There's no capitulation, just an inability to do the fundamentals well," Scott said.
"Others can talk about it if they want but that's not an issue as far as I'm concerned."
• The Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says his Crows were insipid and embarrassing when given a 77-point belting by AFL premiersSydney.
The Swans' premiership defence continued to gain ominous momentum with a crushing 19.13 (127) to 6.14 (50) away victory at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.
Sanderson was aghast as Adelaide crashed to their second-heaviest home loss in history, and his worst as a head coach.
"We were embarrassed on our home deck. An unacceptable performance right across the board," he said.
"It was just an insipid performance by our footy club."
• Geelong downed Greater Western Sydney by 59 points to claim top spot on the ladder at the halfway point of their AFL season, but coach Chris Scott feels his side's current form does not even warrant a place in the top four.
The Cats overcame a slow start and third-quarter scare to kick 10 of the game's final 11 goals and post a 24.13 (157) to 15.8 (98) victory over cellar dwellers GWS at Skoda Stadium on Saturday.
It was Geelong's 10th win from 11 matches, with the club's only blemish before their mid-season bye being a one-goal loss to Collingwood in round eight.

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