The Gold Coast’s tenuous final hopes are alive and kicking – but only just – after enigmatic
key forward Mabior Chol helped the Suns claim a thrilling three-point win over West Coast
at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
The Suns led by 31 points early in the fourth term after a Chol goal but the Eagles stormed
home, kicking the next five majors to close with two points from the home side.
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West Coast’s Jake Waterman had a kick to put the Eagles in front but hit the man on the
mark only to see the laconic Chol kick his career-high fifth goal soon after in his 50th senior
The Eagles got within three points of the Suns with 38 seconds left after Waterman made
amends and kicked truly but a Malcolm Rosas goal put the four premiership points on ice.
Touk Miller and Noah Anderson were outstanding for the Suns in the midfield while Izak
Rankine kicked three goals for the home side while Jack Darling booted a bag of six goals for
the Eagles who were very well served by defending Tom Barrass.
The Suns are two wins outside the top eight with three games remaining in the season with
a 9-10 record, the second-best season returned for the Gold Coast since their inception.
The Eagles closed to within 13 points of the Suns on two occasions in the third term with
Darling taking his tally to four goals for the day in West Coast’s fightback.
The visitors kicked the first three goals after halftime until Anderson stopped the rot with a
lovely goal in traffic for the Gold Coast who enjoyed a 25-point advantage at the last change
after Chol kicked truly after the siren after a spectacular mark.
On the back of dominating inside 50 entries (33-17), clearances (23-14) and contested
possessions (69-53), the Suns took a commanding 30-point buffer into halftime.
Rankine had three goals to his name by the main break as the Gold Coast booted five goals
in each of the opening two quarters after a sloppy and sluggish start when the Eagles kicked
the opening two majors of the game.
The Suns were jolted into action and responded emphatically with the next five goals of the
match with Rankine’s showstopper from near the boundary line and Chol booting two goals
on the way to a 16-point cushion at quarter-time.
The Gold Coast continued on their merry way in the second term, extending their lead to as
much as 37 points with the Suns picking the West Coast backline apart with their glut of
possession and field position.
West Coast’s mid-season draft pick up Jai Culley may be having next weekend off. Culley
appeared to raise his right elbow and make high contact with Suns midfielder Noah
Anderson in the second quarter. The contact did not appear to be too severe as Anderson
played on but it was an ugly and completely unnecessary action for the 19-year-old who was
playing his third senior match for the Eagles.
He was subbed out of the game with a hamstring injury in the fourth term.