Sport AFL Lions snuff out Suns finals hope with big win

Lions snuff out Suns finals hope with big win

All Gold Coast Suns, Brisbane Lions players to have a flu vaccination shot. Photo: Getty
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Battling Brisbane have embarrassed Gold Coast and dealt their AFL finals hopes a near mortal blow with a 54-point QClash drubbing on Saturday.

In an astonishing Queensland derby, the shellshocked Suns were blown away by a seven-goal first term by the Lions before the heavens opened.

An impressive Brisbane went on with the job for a 16.14 (110) to 8.8 (56) upset in front of 27,167 fans – the biggest Gabba crowd of the year – to expose their young neighbours as immature finals pretenders.

Although struggling to avoid the wooden-spoon, the hosts’ dominance was such that they could claim to have regained state supremacy with the hatchet job.

While the Lions were hungry and ruthless, the Suns’ dreadful effort in the opening quarter-and-a-half was a damning indictment on their playoff credentials.

It remarkably took them 27 minutes to take their first mark, an intercept by Sam Day in defence, and they managed only 35 disposals in total in a one-way opening term.

By that time, Brisbane had 135 possessions, 22 marks, had six different goal scorers and led by 41 points.

The Suns not only paid for a lack of run and willingness at the contest, there were countless clangers and fumbles as they resembled a leaderless mob of strangers.

They were leaderless without injured captain Gary Ablett, Gold Coast are now 0-7 without Ablett in their four-season history and it’s hard to see them recover with the Brownlow Medallist out for the year.

Since he dislocated his shoulder, the Suns have lost to two cellar-dwellers in the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane.

Ablett was one of five of the Suns’ best 22 on the sidelines, and they also lost big men Charlie Dixon (groin) and Zac Smith (ankle) once the damage was done.

Brisbane’s Mozzie Squad of Josh Green (three goals), Dayne Zorko and Lewy Taylor were highly influential before and after a thunderstorm hit just before quarter-time.

But it was Irishman Pearce Hanley (45 disposals) and vice-captain Tom Rockliff (46) who were the biggest stars with career-high possession counts.

Ruckman Stef Martin dominated at the stoppages to continue his purple patch, while the Lions young cubs lowered the colours of their better-regarded rivals.