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Chol worry as Suns beat Cats in pre-season

Gold Coast will be hoping a hamstring issue for Mabior Chol is nothing more than tightness after withdrawing the recruit at halftime in Monday’s AFL pre-season match against Geelong.

Chol, who kicked one goal and one behind and had four marks in the Suns’ 13.17 (95) to 11.6 (72) win over the Cats at Metricon Stadium, was taken out of the match as a precaution at the main break.

With key forward Ben King out for the season due to an ACL injury, the Suns’ tall attacking options are being tested heading into their round one clash with West Coast in Perth.

Jack Lukosius was added to the forward line having sat out the practice match against Port Adelaide due to an achilles issue.

The 21-year-old kicked three goals to be the main scorer for the Suns, who made a fast start to the match with the opening three majors.

They then conceded seven unanswered to the Cats as poor finishing in the second quarter proved costly.

Despite having 18 inside 50s to just six by the visitors, the Suns could only score nine behinds in the term with the Cats’ kicking 3.1 to hold a three-point lead at the break.

Lukosius ended the drought 10 minutes into the third term, adding his third of the match shortly afterward before Touk Miller’s quick snap put the hosts back in front.

That was part of a five-goal run by the Suns which put them 15 points clear heading into the final quarter.

Cats’ forward Jeremy Cameron’s back-to-back goals at the start of the final term got the visitors back within a goal but Ben Ainsworth’s three goals in the final term ensured the Suns won the day.

Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts, making his return from the ACL injury that wrecked his 2021 campaign, had a solid outing with 15 of his 28 hitouts going to the direct advantage of a Gold Coast teammate.

There was also a loud cheer from the small crowd of 2486 when defender Rory Thompson came on in his first appearance for the Suns since 2018 after a lengthy injury layoff which included back-to-back ACL injuries.

Ainsworth was the leading goalkicker with four majors while newly appointed Suns co-captain Miller was sensational throughout, picking up 32 disposals, making eight tackles and kicking two goals.

Fellow midfielder Matt Rowell also showed he’s coming into the 2022 campaign in good form, with 27 touches, seven tackles and eight clearances.

Cameron finished the game with three goals for the Cats while superstar Patrick Dangerfield had two majors.

Cameron Guthrie was best on ground for the visitors with 32 disposals, five clearances and a goal.

Geelong’s AFL campaign begins on March 19 against Essendon with the Suns’ trip west to face the Eagles on the following day.

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