FOR TOO long, Gold Coast has been bullied by its big brother, Brisbane.

It's no secret Queensland's Clash, or the QClash for short, is the least fiery of the four intrastate rivalries outside of Victoria.

It has a few touchstone moments (think Steven May's illegal bump on Stefan Martin and the Touk Miller-Dayne Zorko 'handshake'), but only 11 years in, a lack of maturity is partly to blame, and above all else the fact both teams have not been truly competitive at the same time is the primary reason.

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Since Brisbane began its rise to regular finalists in 2019, these matches have been woefully one-sided.

It's time for Gold Coast to make a stand.

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Zorko v Miller: A bitter QClash rivalry

The epitome of Brisbane and Gold Coast's animosity is the feud between Lions' star Dayne Zorko and Suns' midfielder Touk Miller

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The Lions have won the past seven contests, with the past six wins by an average of 61 points.

The closest margin over that period has been 45 points, and that came in the shortened quarters of 2020, when the Lions blew the game open early and then cruised home amidst a crowded fixture of matches.

Gold Coast can point to its inexperienced team over that period. The Suns have blooded Wil Powell, Charlie Ballard, Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine, Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Connor Budarick and a host more teenagers.

They have smaller bodies. They have less experience.

But at the first show of force from Brisbane in any of those six contests, Gold Coast has melted like an ice-cream in the Carrara sun.

Brisbane and Gold Coast players come to grips in R21, 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Stuart Dew's team is good enough for that rot to stop on Saturday night.

They are missing players through injury, with the small and running defenders a particular concern without Powell, Budarick and Lachie Weller, but they have good continuity and a level of consistency this year that dictates a robust showing.

'FINALS IS THE CARROT' Sun hasn't set yet on Gold Coast's dream

Last Sunday's loss to Essendon likely put a pin in the balloon of their finals hopes, but if the Suns still dare to dream, a perfect five-from-five finish to the season keeps the door ajar for action in September, and that starts against the Lions.

Dew has fought and scrapped and rightfully earned a two-year contract extension after navigating tough times and leading Gold Coast to a greatly improved 8-9 record in 2022.

Stuart Dew and Chris Fagan after Brisbane v Gold Coast in R21, 2019. Picture: Getty Images

But how we reflect on the Suns' season – whether it finishes in five weeks or beyond – should factor in this performance against the Lions.

They don't have to win, although that would be a nice boost for the rivalry, but they have to meet force with force.

It's a mark of how willing they are to confront challenges head on.

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May on report for brutal Martin hit

Gold Coast defender Steven May is on report for a high bump on Stefan Martin

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Last season they led the Lions by 27 points at half-time – then conceded 14 straight goals.

To be fair, the 52-point loss in round six was a vastly improved showing in this match-up. Gold Coast won a number of statistical categories, including inside 50s and clearances, but inaccuracy and six goals from Zac Bailey ensured they were never really a genuine chance of winning.

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Bailey goes ballistic with career-high six

Crafty Lion Zac Bailey burns the Suns with a phenomenal six-goal haul

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Touk Miller outwardly does not like Brisbane. Who's coming along for the ride with him?

Rankine, who is in the midst of a wonderful breakout season, has been completely blanketed by Brandon Starcevich – who is less than 12 months older – whenever they've squared off.

Can the South Australian wizard give the young Lions' stopper some headaches this time? It would sure lift his teammates.

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Rankine magic rises another gear with spectacular soccer goal

Izak Rankine puts through his third after ridiculous soccer out of the air

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And the Suns get squeamish when Jarryd Lyons' name is mentioned. He won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield twice in 2021. Do they really want the inside midfielder to have his way again?

Led by Jarrod Witts, Miller, Rowell and Anderson, Gold Coast can match Brisbane's midfield. It has a diverse forward line that can challenge the Lions. They have enough weapons.

Come on Suns, for the good of this rivalry and your own credibility, make a stand.