Suns back down on Lions AFL campaign
185 Have your say
So far, a cheeky Gold Coast Suns promotional campaign featuring a defaced Brisbane player’s image has sparked the only thing nearing fiery in the lead-up to Queensland’s AFL derby.
It’s not quite the fire and brimstone stuff promised by the equivalent clashes in WA and South Australia.
Indeed, Suns assistant Ken Hinkley on Wednesday even tried to back away from the Suns tongue-in-cheek stunt in which graffiti appears on Lions midfielder Daniel Rich’s image on the Gold Coast website and billboards.
But Hinkley promised their rivalry would soon equal the bruising WA and SA derbies which AFL fans have come to relish.
The Lions were not impressed when Rich’s image sported horns, a beard, glasses and an “I love GC” tattoo on his arm on Tuesday – on Wednesday it was a tiara and tutu.
“The kids can do their finger paintings and the men will play footy this weekend,” Lions midfielder Jack Redden said of the images ahead of the Metricon Stadium clash on Saturday.
But Hinkley clearly did not want to enter a war of words.
“Part of the build-up to the rivalry game that we’ve got is that there’s a little bit of extra stuff going on from a marketing point of view,” he said.
“I’m sure it’s to create a little bit of flavour and hopefully we get a good, strong crowd that comes along because of that.
“But let’s be honest – the rivalry stands at 2-1 their way. We’ve got to do our best to get it to 2-2 on the footy ground.”
The Lions have won their past two clashes by 11 (2012) and 10 goals (2011) respectively – but Hinkley said their rivalry would soon be the envy of the AFL.
“It’ll build – I guarantee it will build,” Hinkley said after a closed Suns training session on Wednesday.
“It’ll take off. No doubt both sides will want to own their part of the territory.
“It’s going to be a powerful game in a few years to come. The game will be a sell-out – people will be wanting to get in and see it.”
After Lions coach Michael Voss said his side would walk “an aggressive tightrope” this weekend, Hinkley claimed the Suns would not back down – especially after their shock last-round upset over Richmond.
“It’s a brutal game and, if you’re not going close to the line all the time, you’re probably going to get beaten,” he said.© AAP 2013