Lions prevail in Mackay as SUNS list build continues

By Alice Barker

The Great Barrier Reef Stadium saw the second game of the QW Winter Series, as Queensland teams the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS trekked north last weekend.

The teams slugged it out in the twilight game on Sunday, in this major part of the 2019 AFL Queensland Women’s High Performance Strategy, which provides regular access for the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS to develop current and future AFLW players.

The Lions managed to come out on top, but irrespective of the scoreboard, both teams managed to gain something from the competition.

Gold Coast SUNS coach David Lake says the score was the most “irrelevant” part of the match.

“For us it brought another high-level opportunity to establish our lists and work out our direction,” Lake said.

On the field, the level of footy played met the intensity of the competition, and stand-out performances were seen from both sides, with the SUNS raising the bar following a 22-point deficit in the first half.

“It would be fair to say that we won the second half,” says SUNS coach David Lake.

The Gold Coast side saw Tiana Ernst, who played for the Western Bulldogs in the first three AFLW seasons, perform a standout tackle that took a goal-opportunity away from the Lions.

Former Lion Kalinda Howarth managed to hold her own in the clash against her ex-teammates as she dribbled a unlikely goal through the posts amongst a scramble for the ball.

Sam Virgo and Paige Parker (also a former Lions player) were strong forces on the green.

The Brisbane side were solid from the first siren, with Gabby Collingwood and Sharni Webb kicking goals in the first quarter.

Ally Anderson, the reigning best and fairest winner put on a superb performance, as Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich says, she “didn’t miss a beat”.

This QClash brings the scoreboard to two from two for the Lions, making them the 2019 Winter Series champions, the last game will be played at the Gabba on Saturday July 13, at 12pm.

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