AFL Round 18, Gold Coast Suns defeat Sydney Swans: Suns cause boilover of 2018
THE Gold Coast Suns — yes, the lowly, undermanned, 17th-placed Gold Coast Suns — have caused the biggest boilover of the AFL season.
Against all the odds, the Suns upset the Sydney Swans — yes, the fourth-placed, near-full strength, seemingly finals-bound Sydney Swans — by 24 points in front of a shell-shocked home crowd at the SCG.
After conceding six goals to one in the first term, the Suns piled on seven unanswered goals during the second and third terms while, remarkably, keeping the Swans goalless for two straight quarters to register their first ever win over Sydney.
Previously, the Swans had won their previous eight consecutive meetings against the Suns. And prior to Saturday afternoon, the Suns hadn’t won a game since Round 5.
“It’s the biggest upset in 10 years of AFL footy,” triple premiership Lion Jonathan Brown told Fox Footy.
“This is like (James) ‘Buster’ Douglas when he beat Mike Tyson … it’s the biggest boilover since then I reckon.”
It was a sweet win in particular for Suns coach Stuart Dew, who spent many years under Swans coach John Longmire as his apprentice.
But, arguably, there was no happier Sun post-game than captain Steven May, who led from the front with an equal-record 10 intercept marks.to go with 23 disposals.
“Mate I’m speechless,” May told Fox Footy.
“Stuey as our coach says anything’s possible. But coming to the ground we knew this was a formidable place to play and I just can’t believe it to be honest.
“The way we’ve be going this year, it’s been very challenging. But a win against the Swans, who we’ve never beaten before — it’s unbelievable.
“I really want to win, not for me but for these young boys. They’re putting in so much work during the week and it’s hard for them to believe when they’re not getting results. I know this is going to be huge.
“We talk about the Brisbane Lions and how good they look at the moment just because they’ve got a couple in a row. This isn’t three in a row but we’ll take it. It’s much deserved.”
Sydney began Saturday in fourth spot, no doubt hoping to cement its spot inside the top four and, maybe, add to its solid percentage.
Instead, the Swans could now finish the round as low as seventh on the AFL ladder after a “horrific” loss, according to Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy, with a tough run home of games to come.
Sydney now faces Essendon, Collingwood, Melbourne and the GWS Giants over the next four weeks, before it takes on Hawthorn in Round 23 in a game that could decide a finals spot.
“It’s an absolutely disastrous loss for the Sydney Swans, considering their opponents,” Brown said.
“You don’t like to look too far ahead, but they have arguably the toughest draw in the competition coming home.”
Healy added: “It’ll be finals on the line each and every week. And as much as it’s a savage loss for them, it’s an incredible in by the Gold Coast Suns.”
Considering the two teams’ respective ladder positions, recent form, best 22 strength, he Swans’ stunning first quarter and the fact the Suns only had 10 tackles in the opening term, the second and third quarters at the SCG defied logic.
After quarter-time, the Suns played with a ferocious defensive pressure that was reminiscent of what they showed during the pre-season and first two home and away rounds of the year. They forced the Swans into uncharacteristic turnovers while also creating ample stoppages.
“(The comeback) was on the back of real scrapping. They out-Sydney’d Sydney and then they were able to move inside 50 and convert, which is the most important thing,” Brown said.
Just as importantly, the Suns then outscored the Swans in the fourth quarter — the term Gold Coast has famously struggled in the most this season — to secure victory.
May was just as surprised by the turnaround after quarter-time.
“For me, ‘I was thinking oh no not again’, because we know how good the Swans are, especially when they get their tails up,” May said.
“For the boys to press on, I said to them at halftime ‘I can’t believe it, I’m so proud of you, no matter what happens in this second half’.”
While May was inspirational, Alex Sexton (3.1 from 16 disposals) and Aaron Young (4.1 from 17 disposals) led the charge up forward, while Lachie Weller (2.1 from 23 touches) kicked the match-sealer and Will Brodie (27 disposals) produced a career-best game.
As May chopped off many forward forays, Rory Thompson did an outstanding job on lance Franklin, who was held goalless for the first time this season.
For the Swans, Luke Parker (2 goals from 29 disposals), Josh Kennedy (33 disposals) and Aliir Aliir (24 disposals and 7 marks).
But the highlights for the Swans were few on arguably their most costly performance of the season.
Source : Foxsports