Touk Miller will take extra fond memories with him as the SUNS head to Marvel Stadium on Saturday for the first time this year and a crunch game against Carlton on Saturday afternoon.

Miller, enjoying the opportunity to share the midfield spotlight with Noah Anderson, Matt Rowell and Sam Flanders this year, has enjoyed a real ‘love affair’ with the AFL’s roofed stadium

In 22 games at ‘The Dome’ he’s averaged 28.1 possessions a game, had 10 games of 30-plus, with an average of one every 4.7 games, and polled 10 Brownlow Medal votes at 0.45 per game.

That is in comparison to a career average of 23.5 possessions, 39 games of 30-plus, an average of one every 2.2 games, and an average of 0.35 votes.

The now 28-year-old co-captain will be especially keen to play well this week after injury saw him miss the club’s last visit to Marvel in Round 7 last year, when they led all the way to beat Richmond by 24 points.

Included in his favourite Marvel memories will be a career-best 39 against Essendon all the way back in his 38th game in 2016, when the SUNS lost by six points, and two three-votes games in wins over Richmond and Carlton in 2021.

He had 36 possessions in Round 16, when, sitting 12th on the ladder, the SUNS beat the 2017-19-20 premiers by 10 points on a Thursday night with late goals from Jeremy Sharp and Ben King after ex-Sun Tom Lynch had put Richmond five points up midway through the final term.

And in Round 21 he 34 possessions and an equal career-high two goals against the Blues, when the SUNS won by 19 points after being nine down at halftime.

In his last 11 games at Marvel Miller has had seven 30-possession games, averaged 31.4 possessions and topped the SUNS’ possession count eight times.

But the only statistic on Miller’s mind as the eighth-placed SUNS prepare for Saturday’s clash with the 10th-placed Blues – both with a 6-4 win/loss record – is his overall win ratio at Marvel. He’ll be desperate to improve on his 6-16 record there.

Overall, the SUNS have a 9-24 record at Marvel after just two wins from their first 11 visits.

They are 3-3 against Carlton at Marvel – second only to their 2-0 Marvel record against Richmond – having beaten the Blues there in 2017-18-21.

Tom Lynch (seven goals) and Gary Ablett (34 possessions) spearheaded a 26-point win in Ablett’s 100th game for the SUNS in 2015, before Lynch kicked eight goals in a 34-point win  in 2018 and Miller masterminded the 2021 win.

As many as five SUNS are in line for the first game at Marvel this week –  Sam Closehy, Lloyd Johnston, Jed Walter, Jake Rogers and Ethan Read.

Lynch’s seven and eight goals are the club’s best against all teams at Marvel, while Ablett has the club possession record at the ground with 45 against North in 2017 and 40 against St.Kilda in 2012. Jarryd Lyons, now at Brisbane, holds the Gold Coast possession record against Carlton at Marvel with 36 in 2018.

Brayden Fiorini also will have fond memories of Marvel – he’s had four 30-possession games there.

Ablett has polled the most Brownlow Medal votes for the SUNS at Marvel with 18, from Miller (10), Lynch (6) and Noah Anderson (6), while Lynch (5) and Miller (4) have polled most votes against Carlton at Marvel.

The SUNS’ opposition scouting report this week show five players have averaged better than 20 possessions a game. Sam Walsh is at 31.2ppg after a delayed start despite being held to 20 by a close tag against Sydney last week, with captain Patrick Cripps next best at 27.3 from Blake Acres (22.9), George Hewett (22.6) and Nic Newman (22.4).

Big forwards Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay, who have won the last three Coleman Medal between them, have kicked 29 and 24 goals respectively – 39% of the Blues total. Curnow has 29 and leads the competition as he chases a Coleman hat-trick, while McKay has kicked 24. Matthew Owies has kicked 15.

Carlton, preliminary finalists last year, started the year with four wins over Brisbane, Richmond, North and Fremantle, but have gone LWLLWL since then, beating only GWS and Melbourne. They are coming off a 52-point hiding from ladder leaders Sydney in Sydney last week.

 Ahead of our Round 11 Carlton clash at Marvel Stadium, we take a look back at how we’ve faired at the venue in years past.  Read More