A year after mauling Carlton at Etihad, Gold Coast co-captain Tom Lynch has repeated the pain.Tom Lynch’s repeat mauling of Carlton at Etihad Stadium showcases why there is so much hype around his AFL future.
A year after his record seven-goal haul against the Blues at the venue, the Gold Coast co-captain increased that tally by one on Saturday and led his team superbly to a 34-point win.
The 15.11 (101) to 9.13 (67) win gives Gold Coast a perfect 2-0 start under new coach Stuart Dew.
Lynch becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season and Victorian clubs will make massive offers to lure him back to his native state.
While the Suns big man went goalless in last week’s Cairns win over North Melbourne, he impressed Dew with his work rate in that game as well.
Dew hailed Lynch’s eight-goal haul as a fitting reward.
“What I’m doing and what he’s doing is what’s best for the footy club,” Dew said.
“So I’m trying to play my role off the field and he’s certainly playing his role on and off the field with the players.
“I have said he’s so invested and I think our fans and general public can see from both games that he’s trying his heart out for the footy club.”
While Lynch kicked seven against Carlton a year ago, Blues defender Liam Jones also held him goalless last season in the return match.
Lynch kicked six goals in the first half on Saturday and laughed when asked about whether his teammates should have ensured he reached double figures.
“I don’t know if I can comment on that,” Lynch said.
“There have been plenty of times I’ve been goalless so you have to just focus on doing the team thing.”
Gold Coast received a boost when star Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer (groin) was a late withdrawal and Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts made the most of his opportunity.
While Carlton were left bemoaning some woeful skill errors, Dew was rapt they won the tackle count 94-68.
“Ninety-four tackles at Etihad – it’s a good sign of their intent,” he said.
One good sign for Blues coach Brendon Bolton was they dominated the inside 50s 67-50.
He said that after their round-one loss to Richmond, it was vital to keep perspective and not lose focus.
Key forward Sam Day, playing his 100th game, and co-captain Steven May also impressed for Gold Coast, while midfielders Jarryd Lyons and David Swallow were excellent.
One negative was a likely report for Jack Bowes, who cannoned into Jacob Weitering at the start of the third term.