Sun’s milestone nearly ruined by fishing trip gone wrong
EITHER way it went this week, Rory Thompson was going to make history.
His milestone moment on Sunday, when he becomes the first local to play 100 AFL games for the Suns, comes with a classic Gold Coast backstory.
Thompson is your stereotypical Gold Coaster, when he's not playing footy or training, he's surfing or fishing.
It was the latter pastime that almost got him in strife this week.
The 27-year-old was out at his favourite offshore spot on his day off when the battery on his boat died.
It takes an unflappable kind of guy to play on the competition's biggest and best forwards each week and Thompson reckons he wasn't too fazed as he drifted with a current waiting for help to arrive.
"It was just a bit of a bummer that I wasted my day off drifting out to sea,'' he said.
"It was just a problem with my battery. I've heard it happen to a few people and I knew they'd come out and get me started so I wasn't too stressed.
"But I drifted away from my fishing spot which was a bit annoying so I wasn't really catching anything while I waited.''
Thompson has had his fair share of setbacks and was beaten to the 100-game mark by 11 of his teammates.
Although he reckons there was "no dramas" with his little fishing adventure, he did manage to crack a decent gag about it that referenced his battles with injuries.
"I wouldn't put it past me to miss a game like that, lost at sea,'' he said.
These days fishing has overtaken surfing as his first choice in-season hobby but he still packs the board bags for exotic destinations every off-season.
"When I'm healthy I get out as much as I can, but you just have to be smart with it, a Friday afternoon surf before a Saturday game isn't ideal,'' he said.
"Fishing has probably taken over a bit, if I'm ever carrying little niggling injuries fishing is the way to go.
"But I'm always doing one of the other, I love the Gold Coast lifestyle and it really helps keep me fresh.''
Thompson's father played and coached at Southport and he played a handful of games there before he joined the Suns.
The Sharks won a premiership that year and Thompson and a few of his mates struggled for opportunities at senior level. He was an onlooker while another teenager who went on to make his mark on the AFL got a start. It was Lions' star Dayne Beams.
"I only played a few games in the seniors, it was a hard side to get into,'' he said.
"Dayne was in the grand final side and I remember he kicked one of the best goals you'll see before he got injured.''
Although he's generally hard to get much out of, he admits it feels pretty special to be the first Gold Coaster to reach the ton for the Suns.
"I'm pretty proud of that,'' he said.
"It's taken me a lot longer than other people, I've had a few setbacks along the way, but I've loved every minute of it.''