- Aug 26, 2004
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
Wickzki 's Preview
Last Time: Round 4, 2021 @ Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast 8.11.59 lost to Carlton 9.16.70
Gold Coast: Touk Miller, Hugh Greenwood, Noah Anderson
Carlton: Ed Curnow, Adam Saad, Sam Docherty
One of the ugliest games of football that I’ve ever attended. What was almost perfect conditions for evening footy on the Gold Coast turned out to be an error filled, frustrating match by both teams.
We ended up leading after every quarter though after entering half-time with a 6.6.42 to 4.4.28 lead the Suns kicked 4 goals to 2 to get it to within a single point at three-quarter time. We ended up running over the top of them in the final quarter but couldn’t convert kicking 1.7 to 0.3 in the quarter to run out slightly unconvincing 11-point winners.
Throughout the match I was disappointed with the quality of football by both clubs and wrote at the time that I felt that if neither team improved significantly on their quality that it would be a long season for both.
Limited Improvement from the Suns
I believe that I’ve been somewhat accurate on both counts. The Suns have won just 6 games in their 19 games this year, an improvement of 1 win but with 2 additional games to date.
Unfortunately, the Suns have largely disappointed this year. Much of it has to do with their rotten injury luck that has seen them without a quality AFL-standard ruck for much of the season. They do have Zac Smith covering but it’s clear that he’s not much chop.
Regardless, they have had too much access to high end talent to be struggling the way that they are. Their struggles have been highlighted by their last six quarters of football. Against Brisbane they entered halftime with a 27 point lead to ultimately kick 1.5.11 to Brisbane’s 13.9.87 to lose by 49 points. This continued in their embarrassing loss to Melbourne where they managed just 4.6.30 to Melbourne’s 18.20.128. So woeful were the Suns that they kicked a single point in the middle quarters to Melbourne’s 11.10.76.
AFL HQ will be pushing hard for results from the Suns with the smart money being placed on it being Dew’s last year with the team and the AFL pursuing a big name coach in order to fast track the slow or outright stalled development of their premier talent.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for the Suns. Touk Miller has taken his game to another level in 2021. Jack Bowes, Noah Anderson, Charlie Ballard, and a couple of others have shown steady improvement. They really do possess too much high-end young talent to completely wither away like they have.
Six Suns to Watch
- Touk Miller – almost too good for the Suns
- Brayden Fiorini – will get lots of it
- Noah Anderson – good second year (personal choice)
- Ben King – needs to impose himself more when things aren’t going their way
- Charlie Ballard – called him as my draft smoky a couple of years ago. Under the radar gem of a player.
- Matt Rowell – finding his feet after the disappointing round one injury setback
The season has been a shitshow for teams 7 to 13 on the AFL ladder. Nobody has been hungry or consistent enough to solidify a finals position and so it is with a record of 8-11 that Carlton find themselves in the abnormal situation that finals are still alive.
Unfortunately, Carlton’s form has been impossible to predict. The weeks prior to the North Melbourne game were our most consistent of the season. We then absolutely shat the bed against North in Ed Curnow’s 200th game.
It was then that I predicted, based on our lack of structures that the final season could be a horror show of losses. I was no longer convinced that we had what it took to play winning football this year. What followed next was perhaps even more surprising than our capitulation against North. We played perhaps our best game of the season against St. Kilda and had we not run out of legs in the last 10 or so minutes of the game could have, and should have, won by much more than the final 31 points that flattered the Saints.
Perhaps the answer lies in the battle of the midfields. Carlton have demonstrated an inability to stay with the strong bodied, contested football, hard midfields of the competition. North, as poor as they had been has a strong midfield. On the other hand, St. Kilda have been accused of playing soft, bruise free, football enabling our midfield to play our game without consequence.
Impressive has been the development of a number of our younger players this season.
Up forward we’ve seen Harry McKay become a Coleman favorite, Owies develop into a handy depth player, and last week Honey show what the BigFooty hype was about.
In the midfield we’ve seen Sammy Walsh become a Brownlow contender, the resurgence of Paddy Dow and Matt Kennedy’s careers, Jack Silvagni become the heart and soul of the team, and TDK continue his development as a number one ruck despite injury setbacks at either end of the season.
From defense, Weiters has well and truly entered beast mode, and the blossoming of Liam Stocker who will be a dead set champion in the midfield.
Six Blues to Watch
- Paddy Dow – adding little things to his game on an almost weekly basis
- Lochie O’Brien – phenomenal first game back. Possible launching pad?
- Josh Honey – smarts, quickness, all of the traits. Zeecfc and others called it!
- Jack Silvagni – has honestly become the barometer of the team. Heart and soul.
- Liam Stocker – Forget the next Luke Hodge. He’s the first Liam Stocker.
- Charlie Curnow – he got through his first game and kicked a wonderful goal to cap the story.
The Suns have been decimated in their ruck division even with Zac Smith playing. They’ve also been impacted by the loss of veterans Greenwood and Ellis. For Carlton, our ruck division is also non-existent now but also have been negatively impacted by the losses of Williams, Docherty and others.
Where It’ll Be Won
This is the section I least looked forward to writing. It’s impossible to get a read on the Suns after the last two weeks other than to say that they suck harder than we have at our worst this year. They have a number of possession winners but then it dies out really quickly after that. If we can win our share of the ball in the middle we’ll be able to match them pretty well especially since they’ve lost the grunt of Greenwood who meant a lot to their team and if Nick H plays it’ll be from an injury return.
The key matchup for us is Jacob Weitering against Ben King. As evidenced in the Melbourne game once the ball stops going down Gold Coast’s end of the ground he doesn’t work hard enough to position himself in the contest. I feel the same will happen again if we get on top of them. If not Weiters must win his contest. It’s really Gold Coast’s only chance to win the game.
The Burning Questions
For the Suns: Have they finally quit on Dew?
For the Blues: Are we actually going to go into a game, as favourites and the expectation to win, and not sh*t the bed?
Shooting his Arrow:
Spot on. Blues by 30+ which ought to be 60+ and could well be more.We will spank em
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