Brisbane have regained state supremacy with a 54-point AFL upset of Gold Coast in an extraordinary QClash at the Gabba.
Shellshocked coach Guy McKenna lambasted an “insipid” Gold Coast after Brisbane dealt their AFL finals hopes a near mortal blow with a 54-point QClash drubbing on Saturday night.
In an astonishing Queensland derby, the rising Suns’ fine 2014 progress was undone as the battling Lions blew them away with a seven-goal first term at the Gabba.
It remarkably took the lacklustre Coast 27 minutes to take their first mark, an intercept by Sam Day in defence, and they managed only 35 disposals in total in a one-way opening quarter.
By that time, Brisbane had 135 possessions, 22 marks, had six different goal scorers and led by 41 points.
Led by Pearce Hanley and Tom Rockliff, the Lions went on with the job for a 16.14 (110) to 8.8 (56) upset to expose their young neighbours as immature finals pretenders.
McKenna was at a loss over his side’s lack of desire, admitting it brought back unpleasant memories of 2011 and 2012.
“Just insipid in the contest, and you can accept that in those first two years – 18-year-olds playing up against men – but not after three years,” he said.
“We looked slow and we looked lost at the stoppages and that hasn’t been the case for most of the year. Why did it happen tonight? I don’t know and, seriously, I can’t answer that.
“We got smacked; we got outworked – it was like our first two years.”
Although struggling to avoid the wooden spoon, the hosts’ dominance was such that they could claim to have regained state supremacy with the hatchet job in front of 27,167 fans – their biggest home crowd of the year.
While the Lions were hungry and ruthless, the Suns’ dreadful effort in the opening quarter-and-a-half was a damning indictment on their playoff credentials.
The Suns not only paid for a lack of run and willingness at the contest, there were countless clangers and fumbles as they resembled a leaderless mob of strangers.
They were leaderless without injured captain Gary Ablett, and are 0-7 without him in their four-season history.
It’s hard to see them recovering with the Brownlow Medallist out for the year, as much as McKenna stressed their destiny remains in their own hands.
“But you turn up and play like that, it makes it a very easy answer and that’s not us,” he admitted.
Making matters worse, big men Charlie Dixon (groin) and Zac Smith (ankle) sustained early injuries to join a handful of the Suns’ best 22 already on the sidelines.
Brisbane’s Mozzie Squad of Josh Green (three goals), Dayne Zorko and Lewy Taylor were highly influential before and after a thunderstorm hit coming up to quarter-time.
But it was Irishman Hanley (45 disposals), who won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal, and Rockliff (46) who were the biggest stars with career-high possession counts.