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Lions thump Suns in NAB Challenge

By AAP .
23 February 2014 10:13PM EST

THE Brisbane Lions have bounced back from a drubbing by Hawthorn to record a comfortable 47-point win over an under-strength Gold Coast Suns in the AFL pre-season in Townsville.

The Lions added nine players to the side which suffered a 131-point thrashing at the hands of the Hawks 10 days ago, including captain Jed Adcock and his deputy Tom Rockliff, and never looked like losing as they gave Justin Leppitsch his first win as head coach.

The Suns were saved from a 50-point losing margin when a Luke Russell goal on the final siren left the final score 1-14-13 (106) to 0-8-11 (59).

Off-season recruit Luke McGuane, who returned to his home state of Queensland as a free agent after leaving Richmond, made the perfect start for his new club when he snapped for the opening goal of the game with his first kick with just over a minute gone.

He added two more in the first quarter as the Lions kicked the first five majors of the game and raced to a 33-point lead in the first term.

A smart Harley Bennell goal was the sole highlight for the Suns in the early exchanges and the team had little to celebrate before they found some improvement in midfield.

The Suns side, missing captain Gary Ablett, Michael Rischitelli, Jaeger O'Meara, Trent McKenzie and David Swallow, were better through the middle hour but couldn't convert their improved possession into points.

Bennell had 14 disposals for three goals in the first half and added to the Suns tally to open the scoring in the third term.

He ended the game with 20 disposals and 13 kicks to be the best of the Suns players.

The Suns put on 18 points to the Lions' 10 for the third quarter to close the gap to within 37 points.

Final quarter goals to Michael Close, his third for the game, and Dayne Zorko, who also slotted a second-quarter super goal, ensured the big Brisbane win.

BRISBANE 0.6.4 1.10.8 1.11.12 1.14.13 (106)
GOLD COAST SUNS 0.1.1 0.5.2 0.7.8 0.8.11 (59)

Nine pointers: Brisbane - Zorko. Gold Coast Suns - Nil.
Goals: Brisbane - McGuane, Close 3; Redden 2; Moloney, Rich, Zorko, Green, Lisle, Robertson. Gold Coast Suns - Bennell 4; Sexton, Dixon, Russell, Lynch.
Best: Brisbane - Moloney, Rockliff, Zorko, Redden, Leuenberger, McGuane. Gold Coast Suns - Bennell, Lonergan, Allen, Martin, Lynch.

Umpires: Chris Donlon, Mathew Nicholls, Nicholas Foot.
Venue: Tony Ireland Stadium.

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