Suns expect fiery Queensland derby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns expect fiery Queensland derby

Laine Clark 08/03/2011 03:20:15 PM Comments (0)

It is only a practice match, but the Gold Coast's historic first showdown with rivals Brisbane Lions should have the same fire and brimstone of a Western Australia derby, Suns coach Guy McKenna says.

But the Gold Coast will experience their baptism of fire without some of their biggest names after McKenna confirmed Gary Ablett, Jared Brennan and Campbell Brown would not run out at Southport on Sunday.

Former West Coast Eagle McKenna made it clear what his young guys should expect as the Lions look to make a point before their official round seven AFL clash in 2011.

"We don't have to talk about the passion that will be between the two sides whether we be playing a game of darts or marbles," McKenna said on Tuesday.

"Yes it's a pre-season game but they will think they are big brother and they want to step on little brother - it is no different to what I saw at West Coast and Fremantle.

"If I was coaching against the Suns I know what I would be doing after what I saw in the western derbies.

"If you can spook the opposition and pull the wool over their eyes, fantastic.

"But our young kids don't want to be pushed around by big brother either."

McKenna believed their weekend loss to Sydney had put his young side in good stead ahead of what was expected to be a physical clash this weekend.

"Their big-boned midfielders pushed ours around - you can't teach that here," he said.

"We only have Gary, Michael Rischitelli and Daniel Harris who can teach them that here.

"So it was good our youngsters went out and experienced that.

"They (Suns youngsters) are looking like men, but the challenge is we have to start thinking like men real quick.

"If you go out looking like a boy you will get thrown around like one.

"And I have to sleep at night.

"If (Lions skipper) Jonathan Brown plays on the weekend there would be some kids I just wouldn't put out there - I couldn't do it to them or their parents."

McKenna said his side would be at "80 to 90 per cent" against the Lions, with some notable exceptions including Ablett.

It ensures Ablett and Brennan will not have a pre-season hit-out ahead of the Suns' historic 2011 AFL season start, which begins against Carlton in round two following a round-one bye.

If McKenna was worried about Ablett's fitness, it didn't show on Tuesday.

Rumours that Ablett is suffering osteitis pubis have clearly been laughed off by Suns coaching staff.

Officially Ablett is nursing groin and calf concerns but managed to stretch out at training on Tuesday.

"Did it look like he has OP - no, oh fantastic," McKenna joked with a reporter.

"No, he's good. He's probably another two weeks away."

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