Monday, August 17, 2015

Richmond V Gold Coast Suns - 16/08/2015 (MCG)

A little history. The Gold Coast Suns, along with the Greater Western Sydney Giants, are one of the AFL's love children. I don't know that anyone other than the AFL really wanted a team to come out of the Gold Coast. The Bears before they became the Lions were based there and it was a miserable failure.

Largely because the AFL want the club to succeed, they elected to pay Richmond to play 'home' games against the Suns in Cairns for the first 3 years. We lost 2 and won 1, they've only played us once a year, and last year they beat us in the opening game of the season at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, we've been wanting to get them on the MCG for a while now.

Last year on the back of Gary Ablett Jr. the Suns looked to be finals bound. Then the superstar went down with an injury and took the side with him. Missing out on that finals berth probably also cost their coach Guy McKenna his job and he was replaced by the experienced Rodney Eade.

2015 has been the year from hell for the Suns. They've had injuries, Ablett played all of about 3 games before giving up to injury for the rest of the season (I've never seen more of a one man team), there has been a drugs scandal and a culture problem with some of the young players.

Having said all that this was a game the Tigers really needed to win. The Suns won't play finals, they won't get close, only Brisbane and Carlton's continuing ineptness is keeping them off the bottom of the ladder. They were just a side the Tigers HAD to beat. It was also the 150th games for Trent Cotchin and Ivan Maric.

Supporters were worried about it. Matters weren't helped by Dylan Grimes and Reece Conca being injured and replaced by battlers Lindsay Thomas and Steve Morris, although Brett Deledio returned. In the latter half of this season when we have had a loss we've rebounded positively. Lost to West Coast and then won the next 4 on end, including a come from behind victory against Sydney. Lost to Freo and responded by beating the Hawks. The loss to Adelaide stung, I had the feeling that the young and undermanned Suns were going to pay for that.

The opening quarter was a little tense early, with neither side getting any clear advantage, until the Suns kicked their first goal. That seemed to wake Richmond up and they slammed on a few goals in a row. Ty Vickery being particularly prominent with multiple goals.

The Suns to their credit fought back in the 2nd quarter, managing to outscore the Tigers and taking a 17 point deficit into the long break. The general consensus was that Richmond needed to do more of this:

The opening to the 3rd quarter showed what Richmond were made of and they started to pile on the goals. They eased up a little, but they'd broken the Suns back and were going to win this one easy. The only point of interest was by how much.

Fittingly it was Ty Vickery who kicked his 4th goal of the game and the final one to ice the cake with an 83 point victory. One down, 3 to go. Win all those and we finish with 15 wins and a nice finals platform.

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