This is Gold Coast’s time to cause an upset on Monday night.
There’s no doubt the Suns are looking good. Even though they drew with the Bombers on Wednesday night, they looked the better side, especially in the second half of the match. They were leading by three goals at three-quarter-time and beat up the Dons around the ball, with six more clearances and four more clearances around the stoppages.
The Suns won the last quarter and look scary, with Izak Rankine and Ben King looking to break open the game. It could be an upset against Richmond, who were surprisingly undisciplined against Port Adelaide, costing them the game in the last quarter.
Richmond did manage to shut down Charlie Dixon for part of the game, but he still had six shots on goal, returning four goals and two behinds.
Richmond did look good in the game, but the rub of the green went Port’s way in the end. The Tigers need to be better in their forward structure, with their kicking efficiency at 67.2 per cent. They were also dominated in the midfield battle, destroyed in the clearance game 22-40. They must tidy this up, as the Suns are known for their dominance in the middle of the ground.
We know Richmond are undermanned with Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards out, so this is a perfect time for the Suns to shock the competition. But Gold Coast will have to stop Dusting Martin and former teammate Tom Lynch if they want to stay in the game, and they’ll need Rankine and King to stand up to seal the deal.
That’s without mentioning Noah Anderson and Josh Budarick. They’ve both taken to the AFL like a duck to water, impressing in their first seasons. This is the perfect time to see where the Suns are and for Richmond to bank four points to challenge the top four.
Richmond key player: Shai Bolton
He’s playing consistent football for the Tigers and has gone under the radar at Richmond. Elite on the ball, he’s averaging 15 touches and three clearances a game. He also looked good against Port Adelaide, with 16 touches, and was very efficient in the match. If the Tigers want to find their next elite midfielder, then Bolton is the one, but he must take the game by the throat on Monday night.
Gold Coast key player: Brandon Ellis
He’s been very good for the Suns in his first season and will want to perform well against his old side. Ellis requesting the trade, and it’s worked well him, with 18 touches and four marks a game, which is pretty good for a midfielder. He’ll be key to Gold Coast’s midfield battle, and he’ll be an advantage for his team given his knowledge of the Richmond game plan. He’s also an elite kick.
Ellis will bring superstar Izak Rankine into the game, who also might prove a handful for the Tigers defence, which has looked shaky against small and medium-size forwards. It’s time to show why he left, and it’s time for Ellis to step up and show the Tigers who’s boss.
My verdict: Richmond by five points
With the game on the Gold Coast to be played at night, the dew could come into effect and might make it a scrap. Richmond will just get the win with that little bit more polish in their game. The Suns would have to shut down Dusty for an upset. It’ll be a tight match.
What are your thoughts? Suns fans, do you think you have what it takes to cause an upset? Tigers fans, can Richmond roar back to life?