Round 2 – Gold Coast v West Coast: Immense


Gold Coast v West Coast

7:40pm, Saturday June 13

Carrara Stadium


This is unapologetically centred around the best early game from an 18-year-old I can remember witnessing in almost three decades.


Even now, days after the fact, the image of Matt Rowell emerging from the grasps of Eagles like Kelly Slater from deep within a barrel, only to find a teammate on the outside, is seared into my brain.


The kid has nigh-on everything you would want from a midfielder: ball-gathering instinct, strong presence in packs, the deft timing of a handball master and the ability to kick goals both on the run and from set shots.


I feel at this point like I should be adding “faster than a speeding bullet” and “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”…


And I’m not alone; the redhead from Oakleigh Chargers but with heritage that stretches up and down the East Coast of Australia has become a household name in footy circles almost overnight. Cam Mooney, Robbo, Joel Selwood are just some who have waxed lyrical on his poise when in possession, mongrel when not and persona off-field that belies his age.


You better believe Suns fans are wrapt in him too. The funny thing is that despite names like Weller, Day, Ainsworth, Anderson and Lukosius having games out of the box while a premiership fancy wilted under the pressure of good, old-fashioned, hard footy, the sheer immensity of Rowell’s performance has swept up all and sundry in its wake. From those who have watched almost all of the Suns’ 200 games as a club (or maybe more) to those who have probably only seen 200 minutes of Gold Coast games since Ablett returned to the Cattery, the anticipation of just what he will do next is palpable.


Predictions that he will win Brownlows by the handful, lift the Suns to celestial heights and become some sort of Michael Jordan of the AFL are fanciful and, of course, deserve to be taken with at least a grain of salt or perhaps even a cold shower.


In isolation, however, and indeed after having emerged from isolation to starved audiences, let’s just appreciate what he has done so far. Against West Coast midfield boasting names like Shuey and Kelly, he collected 26 disposals, 14 of which were contested. He tackled with gusto, kicked two goals and barely missed (80%) a target by hand or foot. But numbers aren’t everything…


He single-handedly made people from far and wide consider tuning in to watch the Gold Coast Suns.


For far too long the butt of jokes, target of scorn and derision, Matt Rowell had people forgetting all about that image of a football club in name only.


When he talks about his club, he talks of an environment in which he can grow and help lead to a promised land. Grown men have shuddered, chuckled and turned up their noses at the thought.


For that alone, he has my thanks.


For years to come, surely he will have the attention of the footy world.


For Matt Rowell, I don’t doubt all he’s doing is taking it one week at a time.




GOLD COAST          2.0        6.2        11.4     14.6 (90)
WEST COAST          1.4        5.5        6.8        6.10 (46)



Gold Coast: Day, Rowell, Ainsworth 2, Weller, Lemmens, Anderson, Greenwood, King, Holman, Lukosius, MacPherson
West Coast: Allen 2, Shuey, Kennedy, Petruccelle, Darling



Gold Coast: Rowell, Day(light), Weller, Bowes, Anderson, Miller
West Coast: Shuey, Gaff, Kelly, Naitanui 



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A classic jack of all trades & master of a couple, Jarrod started his footy career as a gangly ruck after a growth spurt catapulted him to the lofty heights of 177cm as a 12-year-old. Forward pocket off the bench was where he ended up as he topped out at 178cm eight years later. The trajectory of a career in health fortunately didn't peak during the pre-teen years & a keen interest in footy has turned from playing to coaching, volunteering and writing.


  1. Wow, now that’s what I call impressed! Here’s hoping the lad fulfils the promise shown last weekend. His initial comments make it sound like he just might have his head screwed on properly.

  2. Jarrod_L says

    He’s doing a good job following up this week IJH!

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