Forget talk of rivalries, favouritism or otherwise, Saturday’s fixture against Brisbane is just another AFL match for Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna.
The AFL will have you believe it’s the competition’s newest rivalry but Saturday’s clash with Brisbane is just another match for Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna.
The Suns head into the Metricon Stadium match as favourites to end a five-match losing run to the Lions.
The game will be the first chance the Suns have to show they’ve bypassed their northern big brother.
But as far as McKenna is concerned his players shouldn’t need any extra motivation for any match, let alone a derby.
“It’s four points on this,” McKenna said.
“If you want to play the style of football we want to play you have to do that every week, whether it’s a milestone game, a QClash, you have to turn up to play each week.
“You just can’t come up because you’re playing Brisbane.”
The Suns suffered a blow on Thursday with big forward Charlie Dixon succumbing to a groin injury.
Utility Luke Russell has been named to make his first appearance of the season but McKenna said he was unsure how he would shuffle his line-up in Dixon’s absence.
“Their forward line’s fairly lofty as well,” he said.
“We have to be able to combat that.
“Our immediate thought is we can go in small depending on the conditions of the night but if we go tall we’ve got some options up our sleeve.”
The Lions welcome vice-captain Tom Rockliff back from suspension with Rohan Berwick omitted.
Saturday’s match will also be Lions forward Jonathan Brown’s 248th for the club, joining former teammate Jason Akermanis at 14th on the club’s all-time games list.