The Southern Saints are three wins from three games in the AFL New Zealand Premiership after they overpowered the Northern Suns at North Harbour Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The Saints remain undefeated in the 2020 competition and continued their good form against the hapless Suns.
The Suns were kicking with a strong breeze at their backs in the first quarter and were hoping to get out to a fast start but the Saints defence of Andriu Sucu, Kieran Charlton, Andrew Bisset and Nico Donnell-Brown had other ideas and held them to only 1 goal for the quarter.
In the second, the Suns were held scoreless by a red hot Saints defence as they piled on 5 goals down the other end of the ground. Forwards Harley Jenkins and James Kusel were providing good targets for the midfielders.
After the main break, the Suns struggled to get themselves back in the game and couldn’t capitalise with the breeze, kicking one goal for the term.
Holding a 35 point lead at three quarter time, the Saints were ruthless as they kept up their attack in the final quarter to claim a 10 goal win and remain at the top of the table for another week.
The Saints face off against the Crows in round 4 while the Suns need to regroup and tackle the Giants head on.
James Kusel was the star of the show for the Saints on Sunday. The hulking centre half forward controlled the game around the contest and nabbed 3 goals in a man of the match performance.
The support cast:
Andriu Sucu and Kieron Charlton played a key role in the backline as they kept the Suns scoreless for half of the game. Charlton is an up and coming defender from Christchurch and will learn from the experienced Sucu throughout the season.
The consolation effort:
Tom Hayhoe was awarded best on ground for the Suns after having a solid performance all around the ground. Hayhoe did everything that was asked of him but unfortunately came on late in the final term with a calf strain.
“I have to give credit to the leadership group of the Saints who have instilled that positive culture which drives the team each week and that makes it really easy on me to focus on other areas of the game.” Southern Saints Head Coach, Sean Mayes.
“The Saints really beat us on the rebound today and their big bodies dominated around the contest which gave them a lot of go forward ball.” Northern Suns Head Coach, Adem Manderovic.
Southern Saints: James Kusel 3, Harley Jenkins 3, Josh Robles 2, Christopher Wong 1, Josh Cunliffe 1, James Scott 1
Northern Suns: James Considine 1, Will Dickinson 1
Best on ground:
Southern Saints: James Kusel
Northern Suns: Tom Hayhoe