Chasing the Giants in warmer climes

As the winter  weather had been particularly cold in the Snowy Mountains, when I saw cheap flights to the Gold Coast, I didn’t think, I booked, ($30  one way Sydney to Gold Coast) .The Giants were playing the Suns at Metricon Stadium in round 20.After  a pleasant morning relaxing in the sunshine and wriggling my toes sock free,  I caught the free bus out to Metricon Stadium for the twilight game.

The stadium  with the wavy roof has a  practical, friendly, feel about it . The training field at the back of the stadium is great. Fans  can have a kick of the footy any time- before, during and after the game.

The Suns fans arrive with hope in their hearts. They are yet to win a game at their home stadium. They’re hoping tonight will be the night. The Giants have the chance to do a Usain Bolt and win back to back games.

I’d seen the first match between the two teams earlier in the year at Manuka so was interested to see how both had progressed as the season had worn on.

Naturally I was surrounded by Suns fans.   The gentleman next to me goes to the Suns games  just for something to do on the Gold Coast. His mate is formerly from Ballarat so naturally we discuss the weather. Like many who have come north, he has stayed. By Gold Coast standards it is actually a cool night. People arrive wearing sun caps but have their jackets ready for the trip home.

As the sun sinks behind the clouds the lights go on for the twilight game.

The Giants score the first goal of the game through Tomlinson and there’s barely a sound. I can spot half a dozen Giants fans in the crowd. In contrast when Liam Patrick replies for the Suns the home crowd cheer loudly. You sense that they really want this one. Campbell Brown takes a strong mark and goals for the Suns then Hoskin- Elliot gets two in a row for the Giants. Aaron Hall gets one back for the Suns. Scores are level at quarter time. 3.1 .19

Aaron Hall  runs in to score the first goal for the Suns in the second quarter then Clifton receives a lovely pass from Scully and registers a goal for the Giants. Ablett  is being Ablett -winning  clearances and driving the ball forward to create opportunities for his teamates. He delivers to Patrick  who scores another  for the Suns to give them an 8 point lead.  Hoskin -Elliot gets his third for the Giants to bring them back to 3 pts down. Matera  goals and stretches the Suns lead to 8 pts again.  The Suns get 3 behinds in a row but then a mistake  from the Giants gifts them a goal.

At half time the Suns lead the Giants 6.9 45  to 5.2 32

In the third quarter the Suns shift into another gear and race away. They score 6 goals for the quarter. The Giants take 20 minutes to register their first goal for the quarter through Cameron  but then get another two through Scully and Bugg.  The guys next to me joke and tell me to cheer louder for every Giants goal. The Suns have a healthy 29 point lead at 3 quarter time .

The Suns crowd are willing the last quarter to go quickly but the Giants haven’t gone away yet. Cameron gets the first goal  before the Suns reply through Matera. They are 29 pts ahead. Hoskin- Elliot scores his fourth for the match and brings the deficit back to 23 points.  Smith gets a long goal for the Giants. The lead  is back to 17pts then Aaron Halls scores for the Suns to give them breathing space again and a 23 pt lead. Hoskin -Elliot gets his fifth  goal but when Ablett goals the Sun’s fans are in Sun heaven. They seem to have it. To finish things off in style, Ablett provides an encore.

The siren sounds and fireworks are released. The Suns were certainly prepared for this. Their fans enjoy the exhilaration of the win. I feel pleased for them and find it pleasing to see a good crowd of over 14,600 passionate Sun’s fans turning up to support their team.

For  those on holiday on the Gold Coast, if you’re not interested in theme parks, golf or surfing, there is always the footy to consider!

Gold Coast Suns-16.13.109
GWS Giants       -12.7    79

GOALS:  Gold Coast- Hall 3, Brown 3, Ablett 3, Matera 2, Patrick 2, Bennell, Caddy, Lynch

GWS Giants- Hoskin-Elliot 5, Cameron 2, Tomlinson, Smith, Clifton, Bugg, Scully

BEST- Gold Coast Suns: Matera, Ablett, Bennell, Hall, Swallow
GWS Giants       : Hoskin-Elliot, Treloar, Smith, Scully

CROWD 14,657

Comments

  1. John Harms says:

    Pam, I love the stadium, and agree it has the feel you describe. Not sure how many wins this outfit will register over the next few years. And I wonder how long the enthusiasm will last from fans. I reckon the Giants have more chance, especially with the double base – having Canberra is helpful. I’m very interested to see how it all goes v Melbourne at Manuka this weekend. Keep us posted.

    Cheers

  2. pamela sherpa says:

    John , I came away with good vibes about the Suns and the state of football . The Sun’s fans had wonderfully contented looks on their faces and I was happy for them . They and the Giants are on the same journey. Wins are one thing but as you know following footy goes much deeper than that and it is the abiding love of the game above all that brings fans to watch it.

  3. Mark Doyle says:

    Both these footy clubs will be competitive in a few years when their young players have had the experience of several pre-seasons and 70-80 games of AFL footy. I expect both clubs to challenge for a top eight postion about 2015 or 2016. Their rivalry may even challenge the rugby league state of origin rivalry. It will be interesting to see how many of these young Suns and Giants players become A graders.
    The journey of both clubs could be similar to the Geelong footy club journey over the past 13 years. In 1999 when Mark Thompson was appointed coach, Geelong drafted 7 or 8 young players and a further 7 or 8 young players in 2001. Approximately 50% of these young players became A graders. Thompson also brought forward the retirements of several experienced players in 2001, which included Garry Hocking, Tim McGrath, Glenn Kilpatrick, Brad Sholl and David Mensch, and went on to make Geelong the best team of recent times.
    We may even see a Suns/Giants grand final on the MCG in 2018!

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