Fireworks were promised, and that’s exactly what we got in the AFL’s fiery Queensland derby.
The derby fire was sparked on Thursday when Brisbane defender Nick Robertson said the Suns were soft.
And, after a bit of general niggle, that fire erupted in the second term when Sean Lemmens’ collected young Lion Brandon Starcevich with a high spoil.
Players came from all corners in front of 11,907 fans, with Dayne Zorko sent flying in the chaos by his chief antagonist Touk Miller.
And matters only got more tense between the pair after the final siren.
Zorko approached Miller at the conclusion of the game and gave him an earful of expletives, before offering out his hand in one of the most aggressive handshake attempts ever seen in sport.
Miller eventually accepted the handshake, however it was anything but friendly.
Fans took to social media to comment on the tense moment, with many blasting Zorko for his sportsmanship.
Dayne Zorko, verbally has a go at a player and then immediately put his hand out to shake it with giving that player no right of reply, knowing if the player doesn’t shake his hand it makes him look bad #disgrace #noleadership #AFLSunsLions
— MyersAB1304 (@MAb1304) August 18, 2018
— Craig Morrison (@craigmorro47) August 18, 2018
Dayne Zorko, You’re the captain of your club and you’ve just won the game how about show some humility? You just made yourself look like a dead set goose
— Mitchell Smith (@Mitchysmith36) August 18, 2018
I respect the hell out of Dayne Zorko, a terrific player and I do believe he is a good bloke.
But seriously twice in a year he acts like a complete tool at the end of the game with Touk. Passion is good, but that was cringeworthy/disrespectful and poor again.
— Nick Rance (@RantsyRance22) August 18, 2018
That is putrid from Zorko.
— Matt Nevett (@therealmnev) August 18, 2018
Yeah and it’s generally Zorko looking like a bad sport. I know it’s not major but taking it off and giving it to someone else looks shit.
— Dan (@danza109) August 18, 2018
Absolutely putrid by #Zorko, disgraceful finish to the game by him. You should all be ashamed of that “leadership”
— Disco (@Sportscola) August 18, 2018
Western Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson said he wouldn’t have shaken Zorko’s hand if he was in Miller’s position.
“It’s a disaster, it’s a disaster from Zorko. If I was Miller, you know what? I wouldn’t have shaken his hand after that,” Johnson said on Fox Footy.
“At the end of the game you have a battle, look, well played, bad luck , done.
“But the way that he verballed him – and you can read what he says, Zorko – I would have just said ‘get stuffed mate, see you later.’
“You’re not obliged to (shake hands). He (Zorko) leaves it there so he (Miller) has to, he has to put his hand out. But he could’ve just shoved him away and said ‘nah, don’t want anything to do with you mate, see you next time we play.’
“And look at him coming back here – it’s just no good. Miller’s over him by this stage, he’s just won the game, shake it once, go and celebrate with your teammates.”
The handshake was made even more frosty considering the last time the fiery pair met, Zorko snubbed Miller and refused to shake hands.
Dayne Zorko and Touk Miller have had a couple of fiery encounters in 2018.
Take a look back at their exchange from round five. pic.twitter.com/fignwJWovw
— AFL.com.au (@AFLcomau) August 18, 2018
The Lions rallied from nine points down in the final term to pip the Suns 10.18 (78) to 11.8 (74) and overturn a five-point QClash loss earlier this season in another fiery contest.
The lead fluctuated in a sloppy but hard-fought second half as the young Suns, led by Alex Sexton (four goals) and Brayden Fiorini (32 disposals) threatened a boilover.
But Brisbane withstood the pressure and did enough in the final 20 minutes to consign the Suns to a seventh loss and winless campaign at Metricon Stadium this season.
Brisbane’s inaccuracy cost them, with Eric Hipwood missing his first five shots at goal and Daniel Rich missing from in front before the Suns hit the lead for the first time in the third term.
Cameron Rayner did his best to improve their ratio with a booming 60m effort while Luke Hodge was a brick wall with five first-quarter intercepts.
Brisbane took an early 20-point lead but the Suns lifted their workrate and took their chances as the game grew in intensity.
Gold Coast got within six at the main break and had the lead soon after the restart.
Harris Andrews’ goal – the Lions’ sole major for the quarter – put the Lions in front by three after a sloppy third term.
Gold Coast, again through some Sexton brilliance, regained the lead before the Lions made the most of their luck to land the final blow.
First Allen Christensen kicked straight after being gifted a 50m penalty, before a stray kick off the deck went straight to an unmarked Dayne Beams (38 touches) for what would be the decisive goal.