Gold Coast have produced the upset of the AFL season, staging an epic comeback to shock Sydney by 24 points and snap an 11-game losing streak.
The Swans’ top-four hopes were dealt an almighty blow at the SCG on Saturday, when John Longmire’s former right-hand man Stuart Dew successfully plotted the downfall of his old employer.
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TAB suggested it was the biggest AFL upset on their books since 1995, paying out $17 on a result few thought possible.
“I can’t believe it, to be honest,” Suns co-captain Steven May told Fox Footy after the final siren.
Gold Coast were minus co-captain Tom Lynch and prime movers David Swallow and Jack Martin, but produced fierce pressure to record their first win over Sydney.
Gold Coast, who hadn’t belted out their song since April 22, withstood a final-quarter comeback to triumph 12.16 (88) to 8.16 (64).
Their ninth meeting with the Swans was widely expected to be a percentage-booster for the hosts, who were buoyed by the return of skipper Josh Kennedy.
Instead, Sydney’s percentage dipped to 114.2, meaning they went down the ladder and handed fourth spot to Port Adelaide.
Swans superstar Lance Franklin was held goalless by Rory Thompson, while Aaron Young booted four majors for the Suns.
Gold Coast dominated the second and third quarters, kicking eight goals to zip.
Sean Lemmens registered a behind early in the fourth quarter, lifting the Suns’ lead to 21 points.
Quick goals from Sydney’s Tom Papley and Luke Parker ignited the crowd of 32,565, but Franklin’s radar was off and he missed two shots in two minutes.
Dew had every reason to feel nervous after watching his charges snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against St Kilda in round 13.
But Young’s fourth goal settled the visitors then Lachie Weller nailed the sealer five minutes later.
The game was remarkable not least for how the first quarter played out.
Gold Coast missed six shots before Touk Miller finally slotted their first goal in the 23rd minute, at which point the Swans had five goals and all the momentum.
Fumbles and terrible turnovers from Sydney helped the Suns claim a six-point lead at halftime.
Swans ruckman Callum Sinclair demanded better at a halftime huddle and Longmire no doubt had some harsh words in the rooms, but it failed to spark the hosts.