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Melbourne stuck in the shadows while the sun shines for GC

Gary Ablett of the Suns looks to handball during the round three AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on April 13, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Gary Ablett of the Suns looks to handball during the round three AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on April 13, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia. Chris Hyde / Getty Images

WHILE Melbourne fans should have been given a half-price discount for having to witness their team's latest 'effort', Gold Coast supporters are now certainly getting their money's worth.

It's just unfortunate so few are turning up to their games, with a crowd of just 12,961 attending Q-Clash 5 at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

It was among the lowest total out of the 21 games played at the remodelled Cararra ground since the first attracted 21,485 in round 10, 2011, when the Suns hosted Geelong.

And so, with the 'Sunshine State' turning into the 'Rainfall State', the league may have to invest in a roof to see if that will bring the fans in through the gates.

The inclement weather must be keeping them away, 'cause it can't be the team's performances.

While their young players continue to make the odd mistake or three - and at crucial times - the Suns have been putting on some entertainment-packed shows.

It took a vintage performance from Lions skipper Jonathan Brown to ensure the Suns would lose their first match at home since July last year.

Just two points separated the two sides in clearly the best Queensland derby played so far, and ended a run of home success for Gold Coast that began against GWS and Carlton in rounds 20 and 22 of 2012, and continued in round one this year against St Kilda.

The Suns averaged a crowd of 18,167 at eight winless games in 2011, before the figure dropped dramatically to 13,645 in 2012 and even less so far in 2013, with 13,832 on hand for the clash with the Saints.

At the risk of sounding like a member of their marketing department, with the Suns developing nicely, now's the time to get along and see them.

You've got the best player in the land, Gary Ablett, strutting his stuff, but also the likes of Harley Bennell, who kicked three goals against the Lions.

Brown, of course, also played his part on Saturday night, giving young Rory Thompson a lesson he won't forget.

The 31-year-old finished the game with eight marks and five goals - after collecting just six marks and a goal in his teams' defeats to the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide - though he came out even in his wrestle with Suns defender Matthew Warnock.

Brisbane would have been breathing a sigh of relief after the Suns missed a couple of shots on goal that may have meant a different result and left the Lions without a win.

Only four teams now remain with the dreaded duck in the 'W' column - North Melbourne, GWS, Melbourne and Carlton.

While the Kangaroos take on the Lions next weekend, the Giants clash with the Demons in a pivotal fixture, and the Blues must travel to play the West Coast.

While they have been far from disgraced, the Blues have given new coach Mick Malhouse his worst start to a season in 26 years when he was in charge at Footscray.

The Blues have now lost their past five games in total - a run that, coincidentally, started at Cararra in round 22, when the Suns sent them packing with an eight-point defeat and cost Brett Ratten his job.

Topics:  afl aussie rules gary ablett gold coast suns melbourne demons weather


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