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Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast

Sarah Black  August 12, 2017 7:33 PM

Highlights: Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast The Lions and Suns clash in round 21
AFL 2017 Round 21 - Brisbane v Gold Coast

Tom Rockliff kisses his two armbands after kicking a goal on Saturday night

1. Solomon's Suns come out firing
Former Gold Coast senior coach Rodney Eade opted against coaching the final three games of the season after he was told his contract would not be renewed, paving the way for assistant Dean Solomon to take the reins. Teams often perform well in their first game with a caretaker coach, and true to form, the Suns were at their brightest in the opening quarter. They were full of running, Jarrod Harbrow (in game 200) and Aaron Hall dominant off half-back and their forwards applying noticeable pressure. Jack Martin kicked three goals in the space of four minutes. Unfortunately for Solomon, the injury-hit Suns struggled to maintain the rage, conceding 12 goals in the second half.

Full match coverage and stats 

2. Lions draw level with Carlton and North Melbourne
The Brisbane Lions have been in comparatively good form, winning two of their past six matches and showing promising patches for the future. The Lions' fifth win for the season now brings them on equal points with both the Blues and the Kangaroos at the foot of the ladder. The Lions' percentage has risen to 74.5, still in last spot, but sets up an interesting end to the season in regards to the number one draft pick. The Brisbane Lions take on North Melbourne in round 23, in a match that's suddenly a much more intriguing proposition. 

3. Could Robertson be in trouble … again?
It's no secret Nick Robertson is a fiery character, more than capable of filling the injured Mitch Robinson role in the Lions' side. Robertson has already been reported twice this season – accepting a fine after round 14 for striking GWS' Nathan Wilson, and copping a two-match ban for two separate incidents against Richmond's Dustin Martin. He could face further scrutiny after taking out Sun Matthew Rosa in the last quarter. The livewire defender ran straight at Rosa, who was looking at the ball, taking him out of the air with a heavy bump off the ball. It would be a shame for Robertson to finish the season on the sidelines after locking down a senior spot. 

4. J (not D) Martin with a devastating burst
We've become accustomed to seeing a Martin tear apart an opposition defence in a five-minute patch, but it was Jack Martin's turn on Saturday afternoon. Everything Martin touched in the first quarter turned to gold, kicking three goals in just four minutes from both set shots and on the run. While he was the beneficiary of the Suns' pressure inside 50, he created a headache for Chris Fagan in the coach's box. Starved of opportunities after the first quarter, Martin still managed to finish with a career-high four goals and three behinds. 

5. An emotional Rocky
Tom Rockliff is a hard, uncompromising midfielder, who very rarely lets his guard slip on the field. While the Lions were each wearing one black armband after the death of former Fitzroy player Eric Moore, Rockliff was noticeable with two. He kicked three goals against the Suns, and after each one, kissed the armbands and looked to the sky. Rockliff was in tears in a post-match interview, after his cousin, who was the same age as the Lion, died during the week. It was a very impressive performance from the former captain in difficult circumstances, finishing with 24 disposals, seven marks and six clearances.