Suns sweat on Hanley injury
PEARCE Hanley has put the start of his premiership campaign in doubt with the type of desperation coaches love in season but could probably do without in the JLT series.
The Suns utility popped his shoulder out in a tense final quarter when he crashed into an advertising hoarding after diving to get a fingernail on a Dayne Zorko scrubber right on the goal, saving a goal that would have put the Lions in front.
Gold Coast went on to record a seven-point victory over the Lions to head into the premiership opener undefeated throughout the pre-season.
But they have some concerns out of the 7.7 (49) 4.18 (42) slugfest in wet conditions at Southport.
Hanley's round one hopes will rest on the results of scans while captain Tom Lynch also faces an anxious wait on the MRP's view of a first half incident where he appeared to collect Lion Mitch Robinson high with a bump.
"It was unfortunate for him, he said he touched it initially but wasn't sure if the umpire heard it so he went again,'' coach Stuart Dew said.
"But I'd rather he did that and have good habits.
"Unfortunately he has popped it out but it went back in pretty quickly so he'll have a scan and we'll have to see.''
When you finish 17th and 18th coaches and fans are looking for new faces who could make the side improve.
For the Suns Will Brodie showed the inside ball winning ability that prompted Gold Coast to use pick 9 on him in the 2016 draft.
The conditions suited him on Sunday but he would have put himself squarely in the frame for round one.
Brisbane midfield coach Dale Tapping, who was in charge, said the Lions were thrilled with the second outing of No. 1 draft pick Cam Raynor.
"He was a real threat and he relished the real combative nature of the game,'' he said.
The Lions were also happy with Luke Hodge's first outing for the club
The impact Chris Fagan hopes Hodge can have on the Lions can be perhaps explained by the Suns first goal of the game.
It occurred just moments after Hodge had left the field for a breather when Sun Alex Sexton managed to sneak two metres goal side of his opponent Alex Witherden.
When Lynch won a one-on-one against Dan McStay on the wing he simply put the ball into space in front of Sexton who, with the head start, won the footrace back towards goal.
Those sort of defensive slip-ups were rare when Hodge was out there directing traffic.
At the start of the second half there was a turnover up the ground and Sexton turned and started to sprint goal wards only to run straight into Hodge who refused to let him past.