Gold Coast have thrashed AFL rivals Brisbane by 53 points with Lions midfielder Daniel Rich suffering a potentially season-ending knee injury.
Little brother has grown up and caught big brother out.
Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch admits his team underestimated the physicality of rivals Gold Coast as the Suns powered their way to a dominant 53-point win in Saturday’s AFL derby.
The rampant Suns bullied, bashed and out-ran the Lions on their way to a dominant 17.12 (114) to 9.7 (61) win.
The victory underlines how much the power base has shifted between these two clubs since their first meeting in 2011.
Leppitsch, still searching for his first win as an AFL head coach, conceded the Suns had been too strong for his charges.
“The contested possessions, I didn’t see that coming,” Leppitsch said.
“They were just too quick and too strong.
“We didn’t expect toughness like that.”
Suns’ superstar Gary Ablett picked up his second Marcus Ashcroft Medal for another best-on-ground display, picking up three goals and a game-high 38 disposals.
But it was no one-man show.
Defender Steven May epitomised the raw strength of the home team, throwing his frame into several challenges and playing a key role in restricting Lions forward Jonathan Brown to a mere four disposals for the match.
Sam Day led the line with four goals, including three key majors in the second quarter.
Even impressive youngsters Sean Lemmens and Kade Kolodjashnij were able to pick up their first AFL goals in the rout.
“I was a little bit nervous to see how our boys would take up the challenge but I couldn’t fault their effort in the first half,” Suns coach Guy McKenna said.
“Probably after halftime we started to get reward for our effort.
“We’re just becoming more consistent in our effort and you certainly saw that tonight.”
Lions midfielder Daniel Rich suffered a potentially serious knee injury to compound Brisbane’s woes.
The 23-year-old limped off after his right leg buckled in a challenge with Lemmens.
Rich will undergo scans but Leppitsch confirmed doctors feared he had suffered a potentially season-ending tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.
Key defender Daniel Merrett could also spend time on the sidelines after he caught David Swallow high with an elbow in the final quarter.
Gold Coast host premiers Hawthorn next Saturday while the Lions are on the road against Port Adelaide.