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Five talking points: Gold Coast v Brisbane Lions

Ciaran Baynes  April 13, 2013 11:15 PM

Highlights: Gold Coast v Brisbane Lions The Suns and Lions battle for round three honours at Metricon Stadium
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Gary Ablett's influence was curtailed by Lions tagger Andrew Raines

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1. Half-full house
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou will be forgiven for allowing himself a smile when looking at this attendance figure from Metricon Stadium. After the furore over the NAB Cup final being played in Melbourne, that decision now looks more justified. If less than 13,000 turn up to the QClash, admittedly in inclement weather, how many would have turned up to a pre-season game?

2. Derby delight
There may not have been hordes in to watch it, but after three straight disappointing Queensland derbies, this was a pulsating affair. The Lions threatened to run away with the game on a few occasions but Gold Coast kept on their tail. Even with Gary Ablett not at his most dominant (despite 27 disposals in the shadow of Andrew Raines), the Suns had enough scoring power to trade punches with them, with Harley Bennell putting the type of performance expected of him in this campaign. The game was in the balance until the last seconds.

3. Big-game Brown

One goal in his first two games led some to wonder if the Lions' big dog Jonathan Brown was on the wane. It didn't take long for him to give an answer, goaling with a beautiful kick from the left-hand boundary line. There were five goals in all from the Lions skipper, plus a couple of assists and a bizarre wrestling contrast with Matthew Warnock to show he still has the fire.

4. No sweat for debutant
Few players can have looked as comfortable on their AFL debut as the number eight pick from last year's draft, Sam Mayes. He comes with massive raps following a stellar 2012 season for North Adelaide in the SANFL and was in the game throughout. He managed 21 disposals and his maiden night could have been even better had two kicks from the edge of the arc not fallen narrowly short. In better conditions they may well have gone through.

5. Shining against old masters
After a disappointing 2012, former Lion Jared Brennan rose to the occasion against his old employers, leading his side in disposals (30) and contested possessions (18). You would have to go back almost two years to find a performance of this quality for the player who was dumped late last season for a lack of commitment.