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Clubs with a Bye

Sydney players form a huddle. Photo: Keith McInnes/NEAFL

MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney v Gold Coast


Saturday, June 29, 2019
Sydney Swans (3rd) v Gold Coast SUNS (8th)
Blacktown International Sportspark, 11.30am


Third-placed Sydney hosts Gold Coast at Blacktown on Saturday morning in a contest which should be a lot closer than their respective ladder positions suggest.

The Swans are a game clear in third place but have won three of their past six, including a narrow eight-point win over Canberra last week.

The SUNS, meanwhile, are down in eighth but are coming off a stunning 15-point win over second-placed Southport a fortnight ago which has breathed life into their season.

With both clubs evenly matched on paper with the number of AFL-listed players, there is plenty of intrigue in this Round 13 clash.


Round 8, 2019: Sydney 17.14 (116) d Gold Coast 8.10 (58) at Metricon Stadium
Round 2, 2019: Sydney 17.8 (110) d Gold Coast 10.12 (72) at Metricon Stadium
Round 20, 2018: Sydney 12.10 (82) d Gold Coast 4.6 (30) at Blacktown International Sportspark


1. Gold Coast fans have something to get excited about this week with Izak Rankine named for his return from hamstring problems. The No.3 AFL Draft pick and highly-touted 19-year-old hasn't played since the second JLT Series match against the Swans in Lismore when he first injured the hamstring. He was due to return in early May, but re-aggravated the problem and has been in rehab since.

2. Sydney will be without its best NEAFL player James Rowbottom, who has duly been rewarded for his outstanding form with a recall to the Swans’ AFL side. Rowbottom polled the maximum 10 NEAFL MVP votes against Canberra last week, and leads the voting at this stage of the season. It’s a big loss to the NEAFL side, and Sydney will need others to rise and take his place as a match-winner.

3. One of the big questions is whether Gold Coast can back up its strong win over Southport in Round 11 and put pressure on the top six with an upset victory this week Michael Rischitelli was outstanding against the Sharks but it was the SUNS young guns who really set the tone. They’ll use that performance as a benchmark in effort and intensity coming in to this clash against Sydney.


Gold Coast SUNS Academy member Alex Davies returns to NEAFL action this week and he’ll be keen to put his best foot forward. The basketball convert was named in the 50-player Allies squad this year and is a quality young talent coming through the academy ranks.


Gold Coast ruckman Tom Nicholls leads the competition in clearances with 68 from 10 matches. He is also ranked No.1 in the NEAFL for hard ball gets, fourth in hit-outs and hit-outs to advantage, and is the only key position player in the top 10 (ranked seventh) in contested possessions.


Swans by seven points.


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