Sadly for the Gold Coast, captain Gary Ablett made the biggest impact off the field after becoming embroiled in a heated exchange with an angry punter in the wake of their 73-point AFL home loss to Melbourne.
Dual Brownlow Medallist Ablett was a shadow of himself on the field despite finishing with 22 touches and two goals as the Suns crashed to their fourth straight loss on Saturday night.
But he finally fired up after the siren as a particularly irate member of the Metricon Stadium crowd began hurling abuse at players near the Suns tunnel.
Ablett tried to reason with the man who was in a Suns corporate box, reminding the foul-mouthed punter that there were children nearby.
Suns security removed the man from the ground.
The Gold Coast club are investigating the incident.
“Supporters turn up every week to support us,” Ablett told Fox Footy when asked about the incident.
“When you put in a performance like that you expect (criticism).”
Ablett received support from Collingwood boss and media personality Eddie McGuire.
“When things are tough, you need supporters rallying around you,” McGuire said on Fox Footy.
“You don’t need to be giving everybody an ear ache going off the ground.
“You can see supporters of the Suns on the other side of the race getting behind Gary there and just trying to calm things down.
“So well done to Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett, the sensible head among everything there.”
If only Ablett had turned as many heads on the field for the battling Suns.
Ablett was clearly troubled by a calf complaint as he was held to three first term touches and only 15 by three quarter time as Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn inspired a second half Demons blitz.
“He’s still not at his brilliant best (but) he’s got enormous standards compared to mere mortals who play the game,” Suns coach Rodney Eade said.
“He’s not able to get away from contests (but) his form is solid.
“He’s in reasonable form for a superstar.
“He went in under a bit of cloud with his calf but he got through okay.”
Suns forward Tom Lynch all but singlehandedly kept the hosts in the contest with four classy first half goals, ensuring the Gold Coast trailed by just five points at the main break.
He didn’t kick another goal as the Demons piled on 16 second half majors to six.
Eade may not have the luxury to swing the selection axe.
They lost Alex Sexton (broken arm) and Matt Rosa (hamstring) by halftime.
Touk Miller (ankle) and Dion Prestia (knee) are also concerns.