Gold Coast’s AFL season of woe has continued at Etihad Stadium when Sean Lemmens was knocked out in the Suns’ 71-point loss to Collingwood.
The visitors were comprehensively outclassed in a match between sides guaranteed of missing the finals, surrendering 16.22 (118) to 6.11 (47) on Saturday night.
A crowd of just 17,644 turned out, making it the lowest attendance at a Collingwood home game in more than 25 years.
Gold Coast youngster Lemmens was taken from the field on a stretcher following a second-quarter collision with Jesse White.
Collingwood were also a man down during the second half after forward Darcy Moore appeared to tweak his troublesome hamstring.
White finished with 3.4 for the Magpies, who dominated from the outset thanks to classy midfielders Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Adam Treloar.
Treloar celebrated his 100th game with a match-high 38 possessions, six tackles, a goal and potentially three Brownlow votes.
Jermey Howe, who clutched a career-best 18 marks including a trademark screamer, Brodie Grundy, Josh Smith and Jack Crisp were also influential for Collingwood.
The ease at which the Magpies moved the ball – aided by a lack of pressure from the Suns – meant the shellacking often resembled a training drill.
It was a throwback to the Suns’ first two seasons in the competition, when they could at least point to inexperience as a reason for regular routs.
The result followed the expansion team’s upset loss to lowly Essendon at the same venue.
“It’s completely unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in finals contention, you don’t put the cue in the rack until the final siren of round 23,” former Suns player Campbell Brown said on Triple M.
“It wasn’t AFL standard … their last fortnight has been diabolical.
“They look like a side that has one eye on their holidays.”
The hosts booted seven goals in the opening quarter, much to the chagrin of injured Suns captain Gary Ablett, who watched from the stands.
In sharp contrast, the Suns managed 0.2 in the first term – their most impotent start to a game since the final round of the 2015 season.
The Suns’ halftime score was 1.6 (12) – only once before in the club’s history have they posted a lower total at halftime.
Collingwood will seek to ruin Hawthorn’s top-four hopes in the final round of the season, while the Suns end their campaign against Port Adelaide at home.