<
>

Matthew Rowell leads recruits as Suns beat Cats

Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Top draft pick Matthew Rowell has further enhanced his claims for a round one AFL debut with a solid display in Gold Coast's pre-season win over Geelong.

Rowell picked up 20 disposals as the Suns claimed an impressive 17.20 (122) to 7.12 (54) win over the Cats at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

The 18-year-old was a bright spark throughout the match, in his second hitout against AFL opposition after playing in a scratch match last weekend against Brisbane.

Rowell was one of several recruits to do well in the Suns squad as they outran and outplayed the Cats.

Fellow draftee and best mate Noah Anderson kicked a goal in the third quarter and finished the game with 14 disposals.

There were also goals for fellow draftees Connor Budarick and Jeremy Sharp in the big win.

Ex-Richmond premiership player Brandon Ellis made his first appearance for his new club, picking up 22 disposals in a solid showing while former Adelaide midfielder Hugh Greenwood (25 disposals, nine tackles) showed some classy touches in his first game for the Suns as well.

"It's a different team to last year and then further to that somewhere between seven and 10 guys that played regularly last year still to come back in," Suns coach Stuart Dew said.

"The pleasing thing about that is the competition for spots.

"Conor Budarick. We've spoken about Rowell and Anderson. Hughie. Even Brandon, is obviously a veteran of the game but first time for us, he was jumping out of his skin. Brings a lot of energy and it's contagious."

Suns' forward Alex Sexton was the leading goalkicker on the night, booting six majors.

Darcy MacPherson led the disposals for the game with 31 touches while Ben Ainsworth kicked a goal and made nine tackles.

The Cats fielded four players getting their first taste against AFL opposition but Ben Jarvis, Jacob Kennerley, Brad Close and Cooper Stephens all struggled to make an impact in a well-beaten team.

Gary Rohan picked up three goals for the visitors while Quinton Narkle had 26 disposals.

Gary Ablett also had a quiet night in his final visit to the Gold Coast, notching just eight touches.

"We got some good exposure to some players that we'd like to try out throughout the pre-season with an eye on bigger picture to the first game of the year," Cats assistant coach Corey Enright said.

"Obviously we've got a bit to work on but we've got a bit of time to do it."

Geelong's final pre-season game will be against Essendon in Colac on March 9 while the Suns travel to Adelaide to play the Crows on March 6.