Early Sunsets Over Carrara

Can the Suns address a particularly worrying trend early in the season?

Earlier this week Michael Whiting published a story on the AFL website discussing a “worrying trend [the] Suns are desperate to address”.

The worrying trend?

Gold Coast have scored an accumulative -50 points in fourth quarters in their four games this season, which puts them 16th out of the 18 teams. Only West Coast (-57 points) and Richmond (-59 points) have performed worse in the fourth quarter this year.

Quarter by quarter breakdown

Michael isn’t wrong about the data – the Suns have faded out in final quarters of recent weeks (-23, -20, and -20 points in Rounds 1, 2, and 4 respectively).

As can be seen in the table above, the Gold Coast are also a collective -38 in third quarters (good for 14th out of 18 teams), but this is skewed by their -35-point performance in Opening Round against Richmond.

Since then, the Suns have had differentials of 0, 3, and -6 points in the third quarter.

The Suns collective -88 points in the second half is only better than West Coast (-113 points) and North Melbourne (-104 points). However, expectations were arguably higher for the Gold Coast in 2024.

Perhaps Gold Coast need to take inspiration from their second quarter performances at later stages in the game. The Suns have won all four second quarters this year for a league-leading +66 points.

Other observations

  • Brisbane made a small step towards getting back on the positive side of the ledger in third quarters after their performance against Melbourne last night, winning the quarter by 13 points.
  • Carlton get better as games go on, improving from -25 points in the first quarter to +53 points in final quarters.
  • Port Adelaide are the strongest final quarter team, with a league high collective +55 points in their first four games.
  • St Kilda’s third quarters have been their saving grace this season.

The timeframe of this stat is limited based on what data are freely/easily available and/or accessible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you spot any errors in what I have presented.