Photo: Sharon Vella/NEAFL.

By DAN KELLY

 

NEAFL ROUND 3

Saturday April 20, 2019
Gold Coast SUNS (7th) v GIANTS (9th)
Blacktown International Sports Park, 10.30am

SUMMARY

The first of the Easter Saturday double header in Blacktown sees two clubs looking for their first win of the season coming off the back of two losses to open their 2019 campaigns.

The GIANTS went down in a tense Round 1 matchup against the Swans before being blown away last week by the Lions.

The SUNS have gone down to both Canberra and Sydney in the first two rounds. This clash, however, will see some of the AFL’s brightest young talent taking to the field as they look to press for AFL selection.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Rd 19, 2018: GIANTS 20.9 (129) d Gold Coast 9.5 (59) at Metricon Stadium
Rd 15, 2018: Gold Coast 10.10 (70) d GIANTS 8.20 (68) at GIANTS Stadium
Rd 10, 2018: GIANTS 13.17 (93) d Gold Coast 5.13 (43) at GIANTS Stadium

TALKING POINTS

1. In back to back weeks now the SUNS have played one red hot quarter of footy, nearly stealing victory in Round 1 with a 37-8 final quarter against Canberra, and a 36-7 second term against the Sydney last week. But they were outplayed in every other quarter of the two matches. If the SUNS can drag together a four-quarter performance, they look good enough to beat anybody, but at the moment are looking inconsistent.

2. The GIANTS were sent crashing back to earth last week when they ran into a full-strength Brisbane outfit at Bupengary. After a good performance in Round 1, where they pushed a strong Swans outfit the whole way, the GIANTS were blown off the park by Brisbane away from home. Beaten in almost every statistical category, the Lions – with 20 AFL-listed players – doubled the GIANTS marking numbers and had four times the scoring shots to that of the GIANTS.

3. Gold Coast’s Tom Nicholls and the GIANTS’ Dawson Simpson have both dominated the hit outs in their opening two games. The showdown between the two tap friendly ruckmen will be quite a spectacle given the ferocity of both sides’ midfields. Both sides lead the competition in hit outs to advantage, so it will be interesting to see the two go at it this Saturday.

ROOKIE WATCH

Gold Coast SUNS’ Josh Corbett was phenomenal last week, kicking three goals in his debut match. He looked potent whenever presented with a chance and will be looking for another strong game to push his case for AFL selection.

STATS THAT MATTER

The SUNS and GIANTS are two of three teams in the competition to not score 100 points in a game leading into Round 3, and their attacking stats show this with the both running in the bottom three in the league for marks on lead. The SUNS errant inside 50 accuracy will truly be put to the test as the GIANTS are leading the competition in rebound 50s through two rounds.

PREDICTION
My tip is for the SUNS to finally sort their inconsistencies out and draw together a four-quarter performance. Gold Coast by 20 points.

 

 

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