The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
TEMPERS frayed and punches were thrown as the Suns lost their last home game of a disappointing season by 37 points to Port Adelaide.
The old-school melee, complete with punches and torn jumpers, was the major highlight from a dour battle for the 9343 who braved the rain at Metricon Stadium.
Port has also endured a tough year but will be heartened by a strong finish.
The 12.16 (88) to 7.9 (51) victory means they have now won five of their past six games, including last week’s stunning upset of flag favourite Hawthorn.
Just like the last time these two sides met on the Gold Coast, there was heavy rain, making for a bruising encounter. Little separated the sides around the contests – numbers for possessions, clearances and marks were pretty even.
The Power just adapted to the conditions better. They were able to maintain possession better and gave their forwards more opportunities inside 50.
Sam Gray was best for Port Adelaide while Karl Amon was a constant danger in attack and finished with three goals.
Sun Jesse Lonergan claimed another scalp, keeping Port skipper Travis Boak to just 14 possessions.
Suns coach Rodney Eade has faced some selection headaches this season but the final match committee of the year may be the hardest, with Luke Russell subbed off with a rib injury and Clay Cameron unable to play the majori- ty of the second half with concussion.
Aaron Hall also limped from the field late.
The home side challenged midway through the final quarter and appeared to be finishing with more running than their visitors before Port kicked two late goals.
The Gold Coast were left to lament an ill-disciplined and sloppy third quarter, in which the Power kicked four unanswered goals.
The financial fallout from the brawl at half-time is expected to be huge. A closer inspection of television footage may also see some sus- pensions, although any punches that were thrown would have had low impact.
Suns enforcer Tom Lynch flew into a minor wrestle to spark the stoush.
It began when Port players Hamish Hartlett and Matthew Lobbe took offence at Brandon Matera’s tackle on Angus Monfries.
As they began to manhandle Matera, Lynch flew in to even the numbers and became involved in a wrestle with Cam O’Shea. It soon spread to just about every player on the ground and Lynch’s jumper was torn off and thrown into the crowd.