Co-captain Tom Lynch hugs Brayden Fiorini after one of his two goals. Picture: Getty
Co-captain Tom Lynch hugs Brayden Fiorini after one of his two goals. Picture: Getty

Rayner misses on siren as Suns win in epic finish

GOLD Coast has survived a frantic, frenzied and frenetic final minutes to claim a nerve-tingling five-point QClash victory over Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday night.

Lions young gun Cameron Rayner had a shot at goal in the dying seconds that would have forced a draw but it sailed wide to hand the Suns their third win of 2018 and leave Brisbane winless after five rounds.

A smother from Marcus Ashcroft Medallist Touk Miller on a Jacob Allison kick was the key play in the desperate last few minutes as Brisbane roared back from 27 points down in the third term to get within four points of the Suns.

The teams traded goals in the tense fourth quarter but Brisbane were full of running and almost snatched a draw after Tom Lynch blew a chance to put the game out of reach with a last-minute shot at goal.

Miller finished with 21 touches, seven clearances and kept Dayne Zorko to just 10 disposals, while Brayden Fiorini had 27 disposals for the Suns.

Lions players slump to the ground after Cameron Rayner’s missed shot and the final siren.
Lions players slump to the ground after Cameron Rayner’s missed shot and the final siren.

Dayne Beams had 28 disposals for Brisbane who were best served by Charlie Cameron, Alex Witherden, Jarrod Berry and Stef Martin.

Gold Coast is now 3-2 after five rounds heading into an Adelaide Oval match-up against the Crows, while the winless Lions face GWS.

The Suns raced to a 27-point advantage midway through the third quarter with Aaron Young and Sam Day converting for the visitors before two goals to Eric Hipwood on his non-preferred right boot and a major to Charlie Cameron helped reduce Gold Coast's lead to 15 points at three-quarter time.

The Lions should have been closer.

Jarryd Lyons had another good game for Gold Coast. Picture: Getty
Jarryd Lyons had another good game for Gold Coast. Picture: Getty

Brisbane were on the wrong end of a very dubious free kick against Luke Hodge that directly led to a goal, while Daniel McStay missed a sitter from close range.

Brisbane lifted at the start of the second quarter and temporarily broke from the shackles of the Suns' pressure but did not have the skill level to cash-in as Gold Coast led by 14 points at halftime.

Rayner soccered the ball off the ground in the goal square for a finish Lionel Messi would have been proud of to turn some of Brisbane's hard yakka into points.

Cameron and Witherden led the charge for Brisbane and created the most chances but the Lions lacked the polish.

The Suns lost small forward Darcy MacPherson for the game when he left the field with a right ankle injury but Gold Coast did not miss a beat with goals for Lynch and Fiorini, who found plenty of time and space over the back of the Lions backline.

Touk Miller was best on ground as he won plenty of the ball but also limited Dayne Zorko’s influence. Picture: Getty
Touk Miller was best on ground as he won plenty of the ball but also limited Dayne Zorko’s influence. Picture: Getty

Brisbane got off a flyer when Lewis Taylor booted a goal after just 16 seconds after receiving a clever handball from Cameron but the Suns quickly steadied and had the better of the first term to kick four of the next five goals and take a 11-point buffer into quarter-time.

Jarrod Harbrow was in the think of it from the early stages with a crunching tackle on Ryan Bastinac signalling his intent, while his seven disposals in the first term yielded 203 metres gained which set the tone for the Suns.

MacPherson bobbed up with two majors from free kicks for Gold Coast who had the Lions under the pump with their swarming forward 50 pressure.

Brisbane had 26 more touches but seven less inside 50 entries than the Suns who tackled like men possessed and forced the home side into a number of costly turnovers with Hugh McCluggage one of the few shining lights for the Lions with 14 disposals in the first quarter.

Opportunistic goals to Lynch and Fiorini came off the back of the Gold Coast pressure as Miller also kept Brisbane barometer Dayne Zorko to just three touches for the first term.

 

 

 

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