Start of a long road ahead for Gold Coast

mcsimmo Roar Rookie

By mcsimmo, mcsimmo is a Roar Rookie

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    Gary Ablett of the Gold Coast Suns and Heath Scotland of the Blues wrestle during the AFL Round 02

    “Boys versus men” was how Carlton’s obliteration of Gold Coast on Saturday night was commonly and aptly described.

    It wasn’t supposed to be like this for the AFL’s new ‘baby’. Swept up in the euphoria surrounding the historical moment of Gold Coast’s debut, a number of “experts” had even tipped Gold Coast to win their first match.

    That such predictions were pure folly was apparent within the opening minutes of the match.

    Gold Coast’s attempted run and carry game wilted under the pressure of the Blues’ intense tackling and they were unable to find any space or relief. In today’s game of possession football, it was a worrying sign that Gold Coast seemingly couldn’t string together more than one kick at a time.

    The count for marks at the end of the first quarter was five, with their handball count running well above their kick count, as they tried unsuccessfully to work their way out of trouble.

    At the end of the first, scoring records seemed in play, but Gold Coast settled, or the Blues eased up.

    The end result was still a belting of the kind we aren’t usually accustomed to seeing with the closeness of the 16 teams over the past few seasons.

    For the Blues, it was hard to be impressed by anyone in particular because they all looked impressive against this feeble opposition. Thornton looked like the second coming of Dunstall in the forward line, Yarran cruised around the ground with ball in hand and Garlett scored goals with consummate ease.

    Their rookie Curnow continued to impress and showed that with a team of veteran players around you, life as a rookie isn’t all that hard.

    On the other side, the Gold Coast rookies looked woefully overmatched. Swallow battled hard to win contested balls but never found the space to show off his talent.

    Zac Smith, the 206cm ruckman, showed signs of a future with some solid grabs. Karmichael Hunt looked like he came for the massages rather than to play, and the rest of the rookies mostly frustrated and prompted plenty of groans from those watching.

    The veterans sprinkled around the ground fared little better.

    Gold Coast showed off several prized recruits including a best and fairest winner, a former All-Australian defender, and a Brownlow medallist, as well as highly touted discards but collectively they didn’t look up to the daunting task of carrying this team of youngsters. Footy is a team game and the importance of having good teammates around you was never made clearer.

    For a 20-goal drubbing, this actually was a fascinating game. You gained a great sense of the immense skill of a good AFL team like Carlton, when in contrast to a side that clearly isn’t up to AFL level yet.

    In spite of all the advantages afforded them by the AFL, it looks like it’s going to take Gold Coast a few seasons before they are a truly competitive side. Carlton toyed with Gold Coast like they didn’t deserve to be on the same field.

    Just imagine what a fired-up Collingwood side could do.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • April 5th 2011 @ 6:21am
      Sayo said | April 5th 2011 @ 6:21am | ! Report

      These so call experts are no experts they are just gossip bum lickers. Who on earth would say Gold Coast would beat Carlton a team that took 7 years to rebuilt.This team of kids and average at best experienced players only Gary Ablett is a star but he won’t have the support like he did at the cats.The other thing saying they beat a team who has a chance at a top 4 position.The Gold Coast had it easy imagine if Carlton had their 2 key defenders in Bower and Jamison along with Ryan Houlihan,Lachlan Henderson and Matthew Kreuzer.They lost by 20 goals and that could have been 30 and them struggling to even score a goal.

    • April 5th 2011 @ 11:57am
      Damien said | April 5th 2011 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      This was a shocking game. Hard to watch and not enjoyable from any aspect at all. I won’t be turning on to a GC game again. I love watching top level AFL but it looks like all the administrators have done is to water down a whole stack of games this year and next year and the year after…….they have hurt this game I love.

      • April 5th 2011 @ 12:42pm
        mcsimmo said | April 5th 2011 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        Agree with you Damien, after watching this, I reckon I’ll try to avoid Gold Coast matches, and imagine once GWS joins next year. As you say, that will be a whole lot of poor games to watch.

    • April 5th 2011 @ 2:47pm
      Plugger said | April 5th 2011 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

      Surely a flogging by over 100 points is disasterous for GC. Pretty fickle market in the Coast and it will be interesting to see what happens if they cop a few more drubbings as expected. On another note, I noticed Hunt doing a lot of talking to the referee’s and not much actual running. Is he willing to work hard enough on and off the field to succeed? I gotta say at this point, no.

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