GOLD COAST 6.1 12.3 16.7 22.14 (146)GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.4 5.4 7.8 9.9 (63)GOALS: Gold Coast: A Boston 4 G Ablett 4 D Stanley 3 H Bennell 2 J Harbrow 2 M Rischitelli 2 A Hall C Dixon D Prestia J Gillbee K Hunt. Greater Western Sydney Giants: J Cameron 2 A Kennedy A Tomlinson C Hampton J Giles L Sumner S Coniglio T AdamsBEST: Gold Coast: Ablett, Prestia, Rischitelli, Stanley, Bennell, O’Meara. GWS: Adams, Tomlinson, Shiel, Giles.Umpires: Robert Findlay, Andrew Mitchell, Matthew Leppard.Official Crowd: 13,080 at Gold Coast Stadium.
Two individual subplots dominated this match, in the way they tend to command attention at the fag end of a season for two teams playing no part in finals. Both involved players chasing medals: the first a tyro full-forward; the second arguably the most celebrated midfielder of his era.
Jeremy Cameron needed a minimum of nine goals to win the Coleman Medal in just his second year. There was a lovely romance to the idea, happily indulged by Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy.
The other medal chase was more speculative. Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett, a runaway Brownlow favourite for much of the season, has been nobbled lately: sat on by taggers and troubled by a sore calf. Three votes might just see him home.
Cameron was never really in the hunt, with just one major to half-time and his team already on its way to another hiding. The difference between Gold Coast’s second and third years has been profound; head office will be hoping the Giants grow up a bit in the off-season.
They will need to. Gold Coast at least finished season 2012 on a high, with a breakthrough home win over Carlton a glimpse of what was in store. By contrast, GWS played like Mad Monday soon enough, having already lost its past three games by a cumulative margin of 294 points.
The final margin at Metricon Stadium – 83 points – is a fair reflection of the gap between the competition’s newest franchises. The Suns should be aiming for finals next year.
They were missing many front-liners: ruckmen Zac Smith and Tom Nicholls; key position players Tom Lynch and Steven May; winger Matt Shaw; forward Campbell Brown; and No.1 draft pick David Swallow. Again, the Suns have played more than 40 players this season. Their depth has been tested like no other club.
Ablett’s going to be leading them for a while yet, too. He had 20 possessions, three goals and a likely three votes in his pocket by half-time, finishing with 33 touches.
There was one final subplot dedicated to an individual, with Sheedy given a guard of honour by both teams. One win in his last season in charge doesn’t look like the way to go out. But Sheedy hardly needs more medals of his own.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.