Sun Rankine backed to keep attacking

Debutant Izak Rankine (C) has kicked three goals in Gold Coast's 17-point AFL loss to Melbourne
Debutant Izak Rankine (C) has kicked three goals in Gold Coast's 17-point AFL loss to Melbourne

Exciting Gold Coast Suns forward Izak Rankine will continue to get the green light from his coach to attack the game, despite twice being pinged for holding the ball on his memorable AFL debut.

The No.3 pick in the 2018 draft, who didn't get to play senior football last year due to hip and hamstring problems, quickly showed the buzz around him wasn't just hype.,

The 20-year-old forward marked his first senior appearance by kicking 3.3 against Melbourne at Giants Stadium in Sydney on Saturday with his superbly-executed first two majors potential goal-of the round candidates.

"It's good to finally be out the just playing footy again and kick a few," Rankine said.

"All that hard work building into this game, just happy to see it al pay off.

"My body feels fine it held up pretty good."

Not everything went his way,as he had one kick intercepted by Bayley Fritsch who kicked a goal,

The holding the ball calls were other slight blemishes, but Suns' coach Stuart Dew made it clear he wouldn't try to rein in Rankine's attacking instincts.

"He got caught holding the ball twice and we will live with that because we want him to take the game on"' Dew said.

"We want him to make those decisions and back him to take the game on.

'We're never going to strip him of his flair, the boys trust him in that

Dew lamented several costly turnovers which led to most of Melbourne's goals.

He was disappointed the club couldn't win for foundation player and club games record holder Jarrod Harbrow on his 250th appearance.

The Suns, who lost successive games for the first time this reason, play Sydney at the SCG next Saturday.

Australian Associated Press