A commitment to playing the Gold Coast SUNS way for four quarters was the key to a memorable win at Marvel Stadium according to Senior Coach Stuart Dew.
The SUNS had strong performers littered across the field in Sunday’s 24-point win over Richmond – a win that Dew says is simply reward for effort.
“We feel like our training has been really strong. That test there, that’s a serious footy club who are playing a strong brand of footy which their win-loss record doesn’t reflect,” Dew said.
“They were coming pretty hard in the last quarter. There were lessons learned around how we can arrest momentum which we were able to do.
“The coaching group made a couple of crucial decisions that had an impact in the last quarter. They’re only move, but if the players execute then it becomes real.
“The influence comes from the playing group and their connectedness – they made a commitment today to play our way and they did.”
“That shows a bit of maturity given where we were a couple of weeks ago.
Rock-solid outings across defence limited the Tigers scoring prowess, with Darcy Macpherson and Wil Powell among the major ball winners with Sam Collins and Charlie Ballard contributing in the key positions to holding the hosts to just seven goals.
The SUNS themselves have rued not taking opportunities in key moments during the early stages of the season but were able to pull away from the Tigers in the third quarter with seven scoring shots for the term, six of them crucially being majors.
Ben King, who finished with four goals, and Nick Holman kicked two apiece in that term for the SUNS.
“We’ve been in really good positions and times our execution has hurt us – not today. We took our chances, we can still improve on what we put out today,” Dew continued.
“(On King) his work rate is far superior to what it was two years ago. He’s got different elements to his game now; marking well, kicking well, making contests and from a leadership perspective; that’s really strong.
“Nick is such an important member of our team. He gets a lot of joy out of influencing others, but he likes to play a certain way and when he’s playing well, that’s what he’s doing.
“He’s really good set shot for goal so to get a couple of opportunities and nail them was good for him.”
The SUNS next face an in-form Melbourne outfit at Heritage Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon.