Gold Coast captain David Swallow concedes the SUNS need to be mentally stronger after gifting North Melbourne a substantial first-quarter lead at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

The Kangaroos were up by 35 points at quarter time, going on to win by a final margin of 27 points after the opening term advantage. 

“Mentally we’ve just got to be on from the start,” Swallow told SUNS Media post-match. 

“No team can afford to give up seven goals in a first quarter to one.

“The boys were good for the last three quarters, we really scrapped it out but unfortunately we gave them too much of a head-start in the end.”

Typically this season, the SUNS have been a dominant first-quarter team but couldn’t continue that trend on Saturday night.

Swallow said the team was still striving for a complete four-quarter performance.

“We just didn’t play the way that we know we can.

“We showed in the last three quarters that we can get the game on our terms and we can be competitive.

“We’re disappointed but the beauty of footy is you go again next week.

“That will be this week from the start of training we’ll make sure we have a rally good week on the track and we’ll keep building for a four-quarter performance.” 

The SUNS’ next assignment will be taking on St Kilda at Riverway Stadium in Townsville.

The sides last met in Round 1 of this year where the Saints held on for a tense one-point win.

“Every game’s hard at the moment so we’ve just got to make sure we’re playing our brand of footy,” Swallow said.

“It will be great to go into the bye with a win but first and foremost we’ve just got to get our contest right and see how we go.”