GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Mabior Chol, Izak Rankine and Ben Ainsworth of the Suns celebrate a goalduring an AFL Practice Match between Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide Power at Metricon Stadium on February 25, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew is set to open discussions with the AFL on the treatment lively forward Izak Rankine received in Saturday night's loss to the Lions.

Rankine amassed just the sole goal for the evening - which came with the last kick of the game - and was held to 10 disposals and 3 score involvements in the 17-point loss.

The man responsible for shutting down the in-form forward was Lion Brandon Starcevich, who even received attention of his own from Suns players during the contest once Dew became aware of the defender's role on Rankine.

Rankine was kept restricted in his impact close to goal during stoppages, with Starcevich's tactics set to spark an investigation for Dew to bring up with the AFL.

"Starcevich played well, I'm just going to have to get some clarity on how he's getting played at stoppages," Dew said after the game.

"To my eye I think Izak's looking at the ball, I just need to get some clarity on how he's being defended.

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"If that's open slather, then we can work out what we're dealing with and we can talk to Sean Lemmens and those types of guys to defend stoppages similar.

"I'm not having a whinge, I just think we need some clarity on what is possible. We can ask the question, I'm sure we can."

Despite Rankine's inability to impact the score throughout the night, the Suns remained in the contest until the final few minutes of the match thanks to multiple goalkickers Levi Casboult (four goals), Mabior Chol (two), Brandon Ellis (two) and Elijah Hollands (two).

Star midfielder Touk Miller earned the plaudits post-match in being recognised as the winner of the Marcus Ashcroft Medal despite the defeat.

The Suns' loss may be met with another blow after defender Charlie Ballard suffered a concerning knee injury during the second half of the QClash, with the 23-year-old likely facing a spell on the sidelines in the coming weeks.

His absence will only further compound Gold Coast's losing battle to notch up a top eight placing, with Dew's side now sitting in 12th and eight points from the cut-off.

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The Suns will quickly turn attention to their Round 20 matchup with West Coast next Sunday, with their senior coach hopeful other results will sway in their favour.

"The aim is to win next week," he said.

"If we worry about winning next week, playing well and winning well, that's all we can do.

"There'll be lots of teams getting written off, but different things can happen. We'll try and get our backyard sorted."

The Suns will host the Eagles at Metricon Stadium next Sunday at 1:10pm (AEST).