MATT Rowell has capped his brilliant best-on-ground performance for the Suns last weekend by being named the NAB AFL Rising Star nominee for round two.
In a shock to nobody who witnessed the 18-year-old dismantle West Coast's premiership midfield on Saturday night, last year's No.1 pick was on Monday announced as the second Rising Star nominee of the season, following Fremantle's Sam Sturt in round one.
Rowell's performance won't be quickly forgotten.
He gathered 26 disposals (14 contested), laid seven tackles, had five clearances and booted two goals in the Suns' surprise 44-point thumping of the Eagles at Metricon Stadium, and was a crucial cog in Gold Coast's first win in 14 months.
The Suns had their eyes set on Rowell throughout 2019 as the nominal top pick of the NAB AFL Draft and after completing one of the most consistent under-18 seasons in recent memory selected him last November.
After debuting with 19 disposals in the Suns' round one loss to Gold Coast, Rowell was instrumental against the star-studded Eagles' midfield, even claiming the full 10 votes as best afield in the AFL Coaches' Association player of the year award.
His poise, smarts and toughness helped set the tone for the Suns who notched their first win since round four, 2019.