The Southern Saints have brushed past the Northern Suns by 31 points to claim their fourth win of the season in the 2019 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The Saints got off a flying start kicking 4 goals in the opening term thanks to Carlos Donnell-Brown, James Southby, Finn Moffat and Harley Jenkins.
Down the other end of the field, the might of the Saints backline were on song keeping the Suns to only 1 point for the quarter as the Saints went into the first change leading by 27 points.
The Saints welcomed back Hayden Johnston from Otago as he looked the goods in defence. His defensive pressure was superb all game and only added to the already experienced backline.
The Saints continued their ruthless attack in the second term kicking the first 2 goals of the quarter and it wasn’t until the 15 minute mark when the Suns had their first goal of the game to stop the rot.
Patrick Landy (Suns) and Carlos Donnell-Brown (Saints) went toe to toe in a number of contests throughout the duration of the game with both players coming out equal.
Dominic Parkes-Dolan returned from injury and had a strong game down the wing for the Saints and it was deja vu in the third quarter as the Suns were once again held goalless thanks to Andriu Sucu and Andrew Bissett.
With a 5 goal lead heading into the last quarter, the Saints were held scoreless but managed to keep the Suns to only 1 goal as they racked up their fourth win of the season and edge closer to securing a spot in the 2019 Premiership Grand Final.
Ben Hick was leading from the front as the Suns Captain was providing multiple options for his team mates around the contest all day but it wasn’t enough to get them their first win.
Carlos Donnell-Brown was back to his best as he produced a stunning display of footy from the first bounce. He controlled the footy all game and had a a high disposal efficiency.
The support cast:
Hayden Johnston, Andrew Bissett and Andriu Sucu all had big games in defence for the Saints.
The consolation effort:
Ben Hick was clearly the best for the Suns in a losing effort. The NZ midfielder is getting better with age and it showed as he was strong around the contest and providing options for his side.
“Our young players continue to lead from the front and they are showing us the way forward. We had Dominic (Parkes-Dolan) back from injury today and I thought he had a fantastic game.” Southern Saints assistant coach, Craig Goodhue.
“Our first half was the worst we have played this season. I thought our skills were inaccurate and our discipline was poor which was disappointing. But we did have a good chat at half time and were much better after that.” Suns Captain, Ben Hick.
Southern Saints: Harley Jenkins 2, James Southby 2, Finn Moffatt 1, Daniel Howie 1, Josh Sedgwick 1, Carlos Donnell-Brown 1.
Northern Suns: Lewis Gill 2, Matt Kemp 1, Caleb Macpherson 1
Best on ground:
Southern Saints: Andrew Bissett
Northern Suns: Ben Hick