|Brownlow Medal||3 Gary Ablett (SUNS)||2 Jarryn Geary (STK)||1 Rory Thompson (SUNS)|
A Gary Ablett-inspired Gold Coast Suns came from behind to upset a highly St Kilda at Carrara on Saturday night. Warm temperatures and high humidity made conditions very slippery and all players - with one notable exception - struggled to control the greasy ball. That notable exception was Gary Ablett and, when the going got tough, Ablett kept his feet when few others could and he controlled the ball with far greater ease than any other player on the ground.
Gold Coast got away to a fast start, with Harley Bennell and Luke Russell kicking the first two goals for the match. Jack Steven kicked the Saints' first at the 11-minute mark to keep his side within touching distance but much of the remainder of the quarter was highlighted by sloppy play and missed shots at goal. Charlie Dixon kicked the Suns' third at the 24-minute mark and Gold Coast took an 11-point lead into the first break.
The second quarter saw the Saints assume complete control, with skipper Nick Riewoldt kicking two goals and Milera, Maister and Armitage adding one each, while the Suns registered only two behinds. Holding a 19-point lead as the third quarter got underway, there was an expectation from most spectators that the Saints would run away and record a comfortable first-round win. But the Suns had other ideas and Matthew Shaw kicked the first of the third term before Ablett registered his first and gave notice of what was to come. Milera pegged one back for St Kilda but debutant Jaeger O'Meara kicked his first AFL goal late in the third quarter and the Suns trailled by just nine points at the final change.
A free kick to Ablett in the third minute of the last quarter was converted to a goal and brought Gold Coast to within three points of the Saints. Arryn Siposs responded for the Saints a minute later but Charlie Dixon kicked his second 90 seconds after that to signal that the Suns were not about to go away. At the nine-minute mark, Ablett produced some magic to kick his third and give the Suns the lead. Two minutes later he kicked an even better goal around his body and the Suns led by 10 half way through the last quarter.
Sam Day took a grab and kicked a goal at the 17-minute mark to give Gold Coast a 16-point lead but Stephen Milne kicked one on the run to keep the Saints in with a sniff. Luke Russell then added another for the Suns and, despite a late goal from Milera, Gold Coast held on for a 13-point win.
The win was the Suns' third consecutive triumph at Metricon Stadium after they had won their final two matches of 2012 there, against the Giants and Carlton. For the Saints it was the second consecutive year they'd lost a close round-one match on the road, after falling just short of Port Adelaide in last year's opener.
Ablett was the outstanding player on the ground, with Dixon doing well and O'Meara showing good signs in his first match. The Saints were well served by Geary, Armitage and Steven.
Gold Coast: Ablett 4; Russell, Dixon 2; Day, O'Meara, Shaw, Bennell, Hall
St Kilda: Milera 3; Riewoldt 2; Maister, Milne, Steven, Siposs, Armitage
BEST - BRISBANETIMES.COM.AU
Gold Coast: Ablett, Dixon, Prestia, Harbrow, O'Meara, Thompson
St Kilda: Geary, Armitage, Dal Santo, Hayes, Steven, Stanley
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Gold Coast: Ablett, Broughton, Dixon, Hall, Harbrow, Thompson, Shaw
St Kilda: Armitage, Geary, Milera, Steven, Riewoldt
Guy McKenna (GC): That was probably our best team win. I thought our backline really stood up under some pressure. Our clearance team finished on top, I thought. Our key forwards continue to provide a contest for us on a consistent level.
Scott Watters (StK): We controlled the ball well in the second quarter [but] our efficiency, for large portions of the game outside of that, wasn't where it needed to be. [We had] multiple inside 50 entries without really being composed.
Gold Coast: Nil
St Kilda: Tom Simpkin replaced in selected side by Trent Dennis-Lane
Gold Coast: Brandon Matera replaced Karmichael Hunt in the third quarter
St Kilda: Trent Dennis-Lane replaced Tom Hickey at three-quarter time
UMPIRES: Donlon, Kamolins, Mitchell
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of AFL Media.
|Gold Coast||Match Stats||Career|
|9||Ablett, Gary||22||3||12||34||4||1||0||4||1||2||28y 320d||233||310|
|11||Bennell, Harley||16||2||2||18||1||1||0||0||1||0||20y 179d||37||40|
|3||Brennan, Jared||8||0||9||17||0||0||2||4||2||3||28y 245d||159||93|
|36||Broughton, Greg||8||2||8||16||0||0||0||1||0||1||26y 182d||69||15|
|12||Day, Sam||4||4||7||11||1||1||0||2||1||0||20y 205d||23||13|
|23||Dixon, Charlie||9||5||7||16||2||2||9||5||2||1||22y 188d||23||12|
|33||Hall, Aaron||11||1||4||15||1||1||0||2||0||3||22y 141d||9||9|
|5||Harbrow, Jarrod||17||4||9||26||0||0||0||0||1||0||24y 255d||106||26|
|7||Hunt, Karmichael||3||1||3||6||0||0||0||3||0||0||26y 133d||35||4|
|32||Matera, Brandon||11||5||2||13||0||0||0||3||0||0||21y 19d||30||26|
|17||May, Steven||7||2||1||8||0||1||0||1||2||0||21y 79d||18||5|
|29||Murphy, Tom||9||5||4||13||0||0||0||3||0||2||27y 11d||96||5|
|1||O'Meara, Jaeger||8||5||4||12||1||1||0||6||1||2||19y 35d||1||1|
|10||Prestia, Dion||17||8||5||22||0||0||0||1||0||0||20y 169d||32||3|
|35||Rischitelli, Michael||9||1||6||15||0||1||0||3||1||0||27y 81d||147||63|
|8||Russell, Luke||7||3||5||12||2||1||1||3||0||3||21y 65d||26||13|
|26||Shaw, Matt||7||3||8||15||1||1||0||1||0||0||21y 53d||35||13|
|2||Smith, Zac||3||2||3||6||0||0||20||2||1||1||23y 36d||37||19|
|24||Swallow, David||11||1||9||20||0||0||0||2||2||2||20y 131d||34||19|
|16||Thompson, Rory||7||8||9||16||0||0||0||2||0||1||22y 18d||14||2|
|14||Warnock, Matthew||5||5||8||13||0||0||0||1||0||0||28y 361d||78||1|
|38||Wilkinson, Joel||3||3||8||11||0||0||0||5||0||2||21y 121d||17||1|
|St. Kilda||Match Stats||Career|
|20||Armitage, David||19||4||6||25||1||1||0||5||4||0||24y 287d||72||47|
|27||Blake, Jason||6||5||6||12||0||0||0||3||1||1||32y 15d||213||37|
|26||Dal Santo, Nick||13||5||10||23||0||0||0||9||1||0||29y 36d||239||135|
|8||Dennis-Lane, Trent||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||24y 212d||20||30|
|14||Geary, Jarryn||15||7||13||28||0||0||0||6||1||0||24y 280d||73||13|
|19||Gilbert, Sam||9||3||9||18||0||1||4||3||0||1||26y 223d||132||25|
|33||Gwilt, James||15||7||6||21||0||0||0||1||0||2||26y 231d||97||19|
|7||Hayes, Lenny||16||6||7||23||0||0||1||7||1||2||33y 75d||264||89|
|1||Hickey, Tom||1||1||3||4||0||0||12||1||1||3||22y 24d||13||5|
|4||Jones, Clinton||10||4||12||22||0||0||0||1||1||0||29y 56d||115||29|
|37||Maister, Beau||7||3||3||10||1||0||0||2||2||0||27y 10d||34||17|
|5||McEvoy, Ben||5||2||6||11||0||0||23||0||3||0||23y 262d||70||21|
|32||Milera, Terry||9||4||2||11||3||2||0||3||0||0||25y 81d||16||22|
|44||Milne, Stephen||9||1||4||13||1||3||0||1||1||0||33y 22d||259||547|
|16||Newnes, Jack||8||3||4||12||0||0||0||0||0||1||20y 34d||8||1|
|22||Ray, Farren||15||5||4||19||0||0||0||3||1||0||27y 7d||158||49|
|12||Riewoldt, Nick||11||9||3||14||2||2||0||0||2||0||30y 164d||239||522|
|17||Roberton, Dylan||11||3||7||18||0||0||0||1||0||0||21y 282d||38||5|
|21||Saad, Ahmed||5||0||4||9||0||2||0||0||1||0||23y 172d||17||28|
|2||Siposs, Arryn||12||7||7||19||1||1||0||1||1||1||20y 125d||17||15|
|28||Stanley, Rhys||13||14||5||18||0||0||0||0||0||2||22y 119d||22||16|
|3||Steven, Jack||17||5||8||25||1||0||0||2||2||2||23y 2d||52||42|