It simply came down to ‘the little things’ in Saturday night’s heart-breaking defeat for the Gold Coast SUNS at the Swinburne Centre.
The SUNS led from late in the second quarter until the Tigers took the lead with the only goal of the final term with merely minutes minutes remaining before holding on by four points under Saturday night lights.
Speaking post-match, Head Coach Cameron Joyce couldn’t fault his side’s effort.
“We’re certainly disappointed. We gave ourselves a chance to win being a couple of points up with a few minutes to go,” Joyce said.
“Our application and the effort were excellent. It’s disappointing we couldn’t finish it off, but against quality opposition you need to make sure you play for long enough and we just didn’t quite do that.
“To jump up to the next bracket we just need to look at those little, important things and have a real eye for detail.”
In a match that never saw the margin hit double figures, tackling pressure was the order of the day with a combined 159 tackles laid and both sides significantly clearing their season averages.
“We knew they’d put numbers around the ball. They lifted their contest and tackle pressure – they brought the heat and we adjusted as the game went,” Joyce continued.
“Usually we’re providing the heat, so credit to Richmond. We certainly improved from quarter-time onwards.”
It was an often measured performance from the SUNS who worked hard to create space and methodically work their way forward
Tara Bohanna kicked an important goal on the cusp of half-time while Shannon Danckertand Kalinda Howarth also chipped in with majors of their own.
Charlie Rowbottom was immense alongside Claudia Whitfort in midfield, with Vivien Saad playing a crucial role patrolling the backline.
“I gave her (Saad) a rap after the game. We rate Courtney Wakefield as a strong marking target, and I thought she really competed strongly,” Joyce added.
“She also won enough of the footy, backed herself and made it difficult for the Tigers to score.”
The SUNS now face another road trip, this time to Sydney to face the Swans next Saturday afternoon.