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Wil Powell leg injury sours Suns’ AFL win

Gold Coast have overcome the loss of Wil Powell to a horrific leg injury by beating Adelaide by 43 points in a boost for their AFL finals hopes.

The Suns kicked eight final-quarter goals in the 18.8 (116) to 10.13 (73) triumph at Metricon Stadium on Sunday to move within one win of the top eight.

But celebrations were tempered after Powell was dragged down in an attempted tackle by Adelaide’s Ned McHenry during the third quarter and immediately grabbed at his lower right leg.

McHenry called for medical assistance and live broadcast vision showed what appeared to be a break above Powell’s right ankle, with his foot at an awkward angle.

Play was held up for more than five minutes while medical staff attended to Powell on the field before he was driven away on a medi-cab.

He was then taken to hospital for further assessment.

“Wil’s such a good clubman and brings such good energy to our footy club and we love him,” Suns co-captain Jarrod Witts told Fox Footy.

“Hopefully it’s not too bad but it didn’t look too good.

“We probably lulled there for a bit after the injury but we were able to get it back on our terms.”

Gold Coast kicked six second-quarter goals to take control of the contest and led by 29 points when Powell went down.

They also lost Connor Budarick to a hamstring injury, while Adelaide’s Riley Thilthorpe was substituted out with an ankle injury soon after the restart.

The Crows cut the margin to just 13 points as the final quarter ticked into time-on but Gold Coast held off their opponents and kicked away to post a third consecutive win, their fifth in six games.

“The pleasing thing was, obviously with a couple of injuries, we were down but we didn’t stop running,” Suns coach Stuart Dew said.

“At three-quarter time we spoke about winning the game, not defending the game.

“There’s some things we can tidy up but we took our opportunities when they presented.”

Mabior Chol, Izak Rankine, Ben Ainsworth and Levi Casboult kicked three goals each as Gold Coast compiled a triple-figure score for a third straight outing.

Rankine also had two goal assists and 10 score involvements in an unselfish display.

Matt Rowell (19 disposals, seven clearances), Noah Anderson (27, five) and Touk Miller (24, three) fought hard for the Suns in the middle.

Adelaide’s Rory Laird (42 disposals, five clearances), Matt Crouch (31, seven) and Sam Berry (25, 12) all tried to lift the visitors over the line, and Darcy Fogarty kicked two goals.

Coach Matthew Nicks noted there were familiar themes to a defeat that left the Crows with a 4-9 record.

“The final margin is really disappointing,” he said.

“I feel like a broken record; it’s execution and unfortunately today it was at both ends.

“We had some horrific turnovers in our back half and we found ways not to score when it was a lay-up.

“It’s hard to watch and I feel for our members and our supporters.”

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