NEAFL ROUND 11
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Southport Sharks (2nd) v Gold Coast SUNS (9th)
Fankhauser Reserve, 1.30pm
The first battle of the Gold Coast of the 2019 season takes place this weekend with the Southport Sharks taking on the Gold Coast SUNS at Fankhauser Reserve.
For the SUNS, despite not taking home the win last weekend, a lot of positives can be taken from the result against the Lions. It was the first time this season the Lions have been held below 100 points showing Gold Coast’s early season defensive worries have improved.
With players to return in the coming month from injury expect the SUNS to get more competitive as the season rolls on and players stay healthy, but they will have some concerns this week.
For Southport, after two gutsy victories against Aspley and Redland, they tasted a 10-goal victory against Canberra last weekend showing they are back to their best, and will give Gold Coast a big challenge this week.
Round 9, 2018: Gold Coast SUNS 14.9 (93) def. Southport 12.7 (79)
at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 17, 2017: Gold Coast Suns 14.14 (98) def. Southport 6.4 (40) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 10, 2017: Gold Coast Suns 23.18 (156) def. Southport 6.3 (39) at Metricon Stadium
1. Southport were back to their best in Round 9 dismantling the Demons on home turf by 10 goals, after two close calls against Aspley and Redland and a loss to the Giants over a three-week period. They opened the floodgate after half-time to blow Canberra away, ending a message to the competition the defending premiers have plenty of good football left in them yet.
2. The SUNS toiled with only 13 AFL-listed against the top of the table Lions (16 listed) and should hold their heads high for the effort. The job doesn’t get easier this week facing second place Southport. However, like last week the SUNS will relish the challenge no doubt and enjoy the underdog tag - a tag which paid dividends last year when they shocked the eventual premiers at Fankhauser Reserve by 14 points.
3. The key for Gold Coast this week is their ability to kick a winning score. The SUNS midfield have been dominating, but the side has only kicked over 100 points once – in Round 5 against NT Thunder in Darwin. The SUNS will be coming up a Southport defence at the top of their game – and arguably the best in the competition – consisting of Seb Tape, Brodie Murdoch, Rhys Clark and Jordan Taylor. Finding avenues to goal will be Gold Coast’s mission this week.
Southport rookie Jamieson Shea continues to have a stellar year registering 22 disposals and five marks last weekend in his sides win over Canberra. Shea hasn’t yet nabbed a NEAFL Rising Star nominated, but watch out for his name amongst the candidates in coming weeks.
STATS THAT MATTER
Perhaps the craziest stat surrounding this match is that Southport have not defeated the Gold Coast since Round 14, 2014 despite Southport’s recent dominance of the competition.
Southport to break another hoodoo and win the battle of the coast by 30 points.
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