Suns vow to man up against Lions in AFL
The countdown might have been criticised as childish by an unimpressed Brisbane but the Gold Coast Suns have vowed to man up in their AFL derby at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
And Suns coach Guy McKenna reckons even Jack Ziebell’s controversial suspension would not stop the Gold Coast adopting a physical approach against their “big brother”.
The Lions had made their displeasure known about the Suns’ cheeky marketing campaign for the fourth “Q-Clash” to be held on the Gold Coast for the first time.
Suspended Lions midfielder Daniel Rich’s image was defaced with graffiti on billboards spruiking the match, sporting a range of accessories ranging from devil horns to 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 Suns campaign this week.
But Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna – buoyed by last round’s shock win over Richmond – vowed Saturday’s clash would be anything but child’s play.
A veteran of some infamous West Coast-Fremantle clashes, ex-Eagles premiership player McKenna believed their showdown would lay the platform for another classic AFL rivalry.
“I’ve been part of Western Derbies. The clubs … can build it up …but internally, you don’t want to get beaten so you do raise that level of intensity and ferocity at the football,” he said.
“As a player, you want bragging rights. It’s as simple as that.
“As a coach, you want them to bring that each week – it’s hard to manufacture.
“That fierceness will always be there. It’s human nature – you can’t avoid it.
“It’s going to be on.”
McKenna agreed with North Melbourne coach Brad Scott that the decision to suspend Kangaroos hardman Ziebell this week despite ruling he was going for the ball was “a sad day for football”.
But he felt it would not deter the Suns from muscling up in an attempt to snap a two-game losing run against the Lions.
Brisbane have won their past two derbies by 10 goals after former Lions X-factor Jared Brennan helped the Gold Coast ambush them to seal an eight-point boilover in their round 7, 2011 opener.
“I’d say ditto. I think he knocked the nail on the head,” McKenna said of Scott.
“I think as Brad said, that split second decision. I don’t think we’re going to immediately stop players with that split-second decision to make – it’s played too quick and too hard.
“You want them to go hard at the footy. You coach that way from under-10s.
“So it’ll be interesting to see how the fall out goes this week and the rest of the season.”© AAP 2013