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2:30pm  Jun 25, 2018

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Oppo analysis: R12

Jackson Paine  June 9, 2017 9:05 AM

Last Time We Met: Gold Coast, R3 2017 It was an interesting afternoon on the Gold Coast as we came away with a big loss from a rampaging Suns side. Check out the highlights from our earlier clash with the Suns in 2017.

What to expect

The Gold Coast Suns like to control the football.

They are first in the league for average disposals per game at 416.9, with over 65% of this possession uncontested, where they also rank number one in the competition.

The Suns are able to “own” the football through uncontested marks, helped by a midfield packed with hard-running ball users who are all capable of notching up 30-plus disposals.

In fact, when these two sides met in Round 3 earlier this year, the Suns six-man midfield brigade of Gary Ablett, Michael Barlow, David Swallow, Jarryd Lyons, Aaron Hall and Touk Miller all had at least 28 touches and combined to collect a whopping 110 uncontested possessions.

The Suns are also willing to play a run-and-carry game style, averaging the most bounces of any team league-wide, led by defender Adam Saad, who amazingly has had 21 more bounces than the next highest player in the league!

In addition to this strong midfield, the Suns have built a talented group of talls with co-captains Steven May and Tom Lynch being regarded among the competition’s elite in their respective positions at either end of the ground.

While the progress of ruck recruit Jarrod Witts and number eight pick in the 2014 draft continues to give Suns supporters hope that something special is building on the Gold Coast.

The Rivalry Quiz: Test your knowledge on our history with Gold Coast


Players to watch 

Gary Ablett is showing no signs of slowing down.

His current disposal average this season of 32.1 is as high as it’s been since 2012 and ranks third highest of all 16 years of his illustrious career.

The Suns have built a capable midfield around the 33-year old, meaning the two-time Brownlow Medallist doesn’t bear the brunt of the opposition as much as he has had to in previous years.

But the numbers suggest that the ‘Little Master’ is still as dangerous as ever.

Earlier this year, Hawthorn great and five-time premiership forward Dermott Brereton said he believed Tom Lynch was the best player in the competition. 

The statement caught a few by surprise but the newly appointed Suns co-captain has done nothing this year to let down his fellow centre-half forward’s assertion.

Regarded as the best contested mark in the game, Lynch is also on track to kick 40-plus goals this season, a feat he has achieved in each of the last three years despite the Suns’ lack of success.

The Suns star will be one to watch on Saturday as he looks to take advantage of the Hawks’ depleted key defensive stocks.

Read: Match preview Round 12