Suns send AFLW message with comeback win
Gold Coast have issued a warning to rivals after storming back with the last five goals of the game to beat West Coast by 13 points and break their AFLW drought.
Kate Surman, who starred with two of those final-term goals, said the extraordinary 7.4 (46) to 5.3 (33) win on Sunday at Whitten Oval was a step towards proving the doubters wrong.
It was the Suns’ highest score and their first win since round six, 2020 – also against the Eagles – to break an 11-game losing streak.
After only two goals apiece in the first three quarters, the Eagles looked home when they kicked the first three goals of the final term and led by 16 points with seven minutes left.
Then Surman kicked her first goal and a minute later Tara Bohanna’s booming shot from nearly 50m out also went through.
Surman’s second goal with five minutes left gave the Suns the lead and Bohanna finished it off with the last two goals of the match.
Bohanna finished with three goals, while last year’s No.1 draft pick Charlie Rowbottom was best afield with a whopping 12 tackles.
‘The reality is, nearly every team in the comp and even the AFLW really doubted us,’ Surman told Fox Footy post-match.
‘We were picked wooden spooners (by) everyone, so it’s just really, really good to show everyone that we’re not the bottom of the ladder, we can compete and we’re having a crack.
‘Every other team, don’t doubt us, because we’re coming.’
As the Suns belted out their club song with gusto, the Eagles were left dissecting a game where they only had 12 inside 50s at three-quarter time to 24 and 21-30 for the match.
This is the first of four games in a Melbourne hub for West Coast over the next three weeks because of the national COVID-19 surge.
‘We’ve gone from pretty good to pretty ordinary, pretty quickly,’ Eagles coach Michael Prior said of the frenetic last term.
The Eagles were also coming off a round-one loss and Prior said more players needed to make significant contributions.
‘We’ve got too few carrying the load at the moment, which is disappointing,’ he said.
‘For us to be successful and have some wins on the way, we need everyone firing, and we’re just not getting that at the moment … and there’s pressure for spots.’
West Coast’s Dana Hooker had a game-high 19 disposals and Emma Swanson racked up 18.
While Ellie Hampson had a strong game for the Suns, she will come under scrutiny for a dangerous tackle on Grace Kelly in the second quarter.
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