Hunt post-siren goal gives Suns AFL win
Code-hopper Karmichael Hunt has produced his finest AFL moment, goaling after the siren to hand Gold Coast a stunning upset win over Richmond in Cairns.
In a see-sawing contest, the Suns led by 36 points in the first half, but fell as far as 18 points down in the final term, before booting three goals in time-on to snatch a 13.12 (90) to 13.10 (88) win in front of 10,961 fans at steamy Cazaly’s Stadium.
Remarkably, it was their first victory in almost exactly a year, having downed Richmond at the same venue last season, with the Tigers’ decision to play home games in Cairns turning into a disaster.
The Suns had looked gone, before a long bomb goal from Josh Caddy then a brilliant effort on the run from Jarrod Harbrow put them within four points just shy of fulltime.
They surged forward from the next centre bounce, where Brandon Matera hit Hunt 25m out with a beautiful pass, the ex-rugby league star showing great composure to slot the match-deciding shot.
Captain Gary Ablett (33 disposals) starred for the winners, well supported by Harley Bennell, while Matera (two goals) and Harbrow were both key players.
Jack Riewoldt kicked five goals for the Tigers and Robin Nahas four, while Trent Cotchin (38 disposals) and Brett Deledio (36) put in lion-hearted efforts.
The loss took Richmond to a 7-8 record and could be a crucial dent in their finals hopes.
There were danger signs for Richmond even before the game started.
In-form ruckman Ivan Maric and key defender Ben Griffiths were both late withdrawals, adding to a long list of missing first-choice players.
Ablett and Bennell racked up touches in the first half, while Campbell Brown kicked one goal and set up others to Bennell and David Swallow in the first term to set up a two-goal quarter-time lead.
Things turned really dire for Richmond when defender Alex Rance had to be helped from the field with a leg injury in the second quarter and his opponent, Suns debutant Josh Hall, kicked two quick goals to help extend the lead to 36 points.
Rance returned and the Tigers kicked two late first-half goals, before coming out a renewed side in the third term, to kick the first five goals of the quarter, including three to Nahas, to surge in front.
They looked home after kicking three of the first four goals of the last term, before the Suns’ spirited late revival.© AAP 2013