The Gold Coast SUNS came painstakingly close to stealing a win away from home to kick off the season in Round 1 at Marvel Stadium.
Just a single point separated the SUNS and St Kilda at the final siren, with a frantic final five minutes capping off a thrilling contest between the two sides.
It could have been the first win in SUNS colours for seven new recruits, including George Horlin-Smith who told SUNS Media it cut deep to come so close without tasting victory.
“It was disappointing,” Horlin-Smith said post-match.
“AFL footy is pretty unforgiving there was big momentum swings throughout the game and whilst we put ourselves in a position to win it the boys are pretty flat that we didn’t get over the line.”
Despite Gold Coast winning three of the four quarters, the former Cat said there were certain periods in the game which ultimately cost the side in the end.
“I think we gave up consecutive goals at really important parts of the game at the back end of the first and second quarter and that kills a little bit of momentum,” Horlin-Smith said.
“It’s just identifying those swings throughout the game so those two, three four (goals) in a row – we can stop it at one.”
Nevertheless, playing his first AFL game since Round 9, 2018 in his new colours was a rewarding experience for the new inductee to Gold Coast’s leadership group.
“I’m super proud to be representing the Gold Coast and to be running out with those guys, I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked, it’s a really special moment,” Horlin-Smith said.
“Hopefully we can get a win at some stage sooner rather than later.
“There were some really good things today that we can take on to next week, but we’ll be training super hard to make sure that we get better.”
The next opportunity comes against Fremantle in the first home game at Metricon Stadium for the season this Sunday.
Horlin-Smith is confident the team will be able to back up the same level of consistency and effort in front of a home crowd in Round 2.
“Hopefully we’ll get consistency throughout the whole game so those little lapses we’ll look to get rid of out of our game.
“Still it’s a pressure game so around the contest you want to be tough and applying lots of pressure.
“So that will be the cornerstone I imagine of a lot of teams and we’ve just got to make sure we’re doing it better than the opposition.”