WHILE we wait for play to resume, and with the little bit of knowledge we've gleaned from round one, we're taking this opportunity to put the microscope on every club.
THE PRESSURE GAUGE Which coach is under the most heat?
This is Gold Coast's Shutdown Report Card. >> LISTEN IN THE WHOOSHKAA PLAYER BELOW
The biggest lesson from round one was…
They still have a long way to go. Hopes were high for the Suns to start their season well after impressing in the Marsh Community Series. Then they flopped in round one against Port Adelaide, managing only four goals and being thrashed on their home deck. After losing the last 18 games of 2019, it wasn't the start to 2020 they had envisaged, albeit they were missing some key senior experience.
What's their weapon in 2020?
The Suns on paper now have a midfield that should be able to compete with top-eight sides on a regular basis. After recruiting Hugh Greenwood for inside grunt and Brandon Ellis for outside run, they added top-two pair Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson through the draft. There's four midfielders who will make an immediate impact. Plus some natural development from the likes of Ben Ainsworth and Will Brodie and there is a group coming together at the Suns, despite the lacklustre round one showing.
What could be their downfall?
Port's forward line highlighted some difficulties for the Suns' back half. Although smashed out of the middle, their defence also struggled to contain the Power's attack, which was missing key target Charlie Dixon. The Suns desperately need Rory Thompson to return from injury to take some responsibility off the hands of their younger tall backs.
Who missed out on round one and what does it mean for them?
Peter Wright's omission from the clash against the Power was interesting. Last year the big man signed a contract extension until the end of 2022, but he was named an emergency for round one with the Suns preferring Sam Day and Ben King as marking forwards. Defender Chris Burgess also missed out on the final squad after some senior games last year, while injury niggles saw Jarrod Harbrow, Pearce Hanley and Alex Sexton miss.
Which players benefit from the break?
A pre-season shoulder reconstruction had all but wiped out the first half of Charlie Ballard's season, so the gap in games means the impressive young defender should have time on his side to get back upon games resuming. He's out of the limelight but showed strong signs last year. Thompson is still returning from his knee reconstruction that ruled him out of 2019 so will have no need to rush, while midfielder Anthony Miles was likely to miss the first half of the season with a chest tear.
Who looked set for a breakout season?
Lachie Weller was the only Suns player picked to play in the State of Origin for Bushfire Relief game in February, and he performed well in the exhibition clash. He took that form into the pre-season competition for Gold Coast. Although it is his sixth season at AFL level and he has played 87 games, he appears ready to take his game up a notch and become a really damaging midfielder using his speed and class.
Gold Coast has the biggest list in the competition but has a significant majority already signed beyond 2020. Harbrow is out of contract and turns 32 this year but would make that call on his future, while Jack Hombsch, George Horlin-Smith and Miles are others without deals for 2021. Veteran Pearce Hanley also falls out of contract at the end of this year.