Main content

Hopper Hype and Mohr's Return

1. Mohr returns in style

It had been 665 days since Tom Mohr had been seen in the AFL, but after fighting back from two knee reconstructions, the key defender certainly took his opportunity at senior level. After stepping in for injured co-captain Phil Davis, Mohr was handed a massive task on Gold Coast star Tom Lynch and shut him out of the game. Admittedly, the Suns' leading goalkicker never had a hope on a night when his side was smashed all over the ground and only had 36 inside 50s, but Mohr held the upper hand in the pair's one-on-one contests and did everything asked of him by coach Leon Cameron. Lynch finished with just seven possessions, two marks and two goals.

2. Suns injuries have exposed a serious lack of leadership

With the likes of Jaeger O'Meara, David Swallow, Michael Rischitelli, Matt Rosa, Trent McKenzie and Rory Thompson all on the injury list, the Suns are struggling for quality players, but more importantly, leadership. An honesty session a fortnight ago seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Skipper Gary Ablett was left to fend for himself all night against his GWS shadow Stephen Coniglio in a shameful show of selfishness by the Suns players. The club has worked hard to shed its bad reputation off the field, but until they show some heart, passion and a will to engage in the contest, last year's issues will be the least of their worries. 

Gary Ablett appeared to get injured in the last few seconds of the game. Picture: AFL Media

3. Hopper lives up to the hype

It was a performance to make the Melbourne clubs – and their presidents - cringe. Jacob Hopper's first game in the big time was well worth the wait for GIANTS fans. The 19-year-old collected 11 possessions in the first term and 18 for the half, and looking very much at home inside the centre square where at times he was matched up on Gary Ablett. The midfielder was composed under pressure and worked hard in both directions on a night when he could have gone chasing cheap touches. It took him eight rounds to break into the GIANTS' 22 but his 31-possessions and nine clearances proved Hopper is very much a part of Leon Cameron's best team. 

4. Ward vs Harbrow

They were teammates at the Western Bulldogs and both became foundation players at their respective clubs, but that's about the end of the similarities between Jarrad Harbrow and Callan Ward. The GIANTS' co-captain is one of the toughest midfielders in the competition, loves the contest and had another 25 hard-earned touches against the Suns. Harbrow is an exciting attacking defender when in form, but like a lot of the experienced Gold Coast players, just doesn't provide enough effort, especially for a man who has 170 games under his belt. If you're stacking the two players next to each other for a comparison, it's Ward by the length of Spotless stadium.