A win that probably would have gone the other way 12 months ago is a sign the SUNS have taken a bit step forward with its maturity according to skipper Tara Bohanna.
The SUNS were forced to stand strong in the face of a fast-finishing Bulldogs outfit on Sunday with the hosts holding on for a two-point win despite conceding the final three goals of the game.
It was eerily similar to the only previous meeting between the sides in Season Six when the Bulldogs kicked the final four goals to have the scores all tied up at the final siren.
Bohanna says that finding a way to record a third straight win, a feat never previously achieved by the club, shows the development of the SUNS outfit.
“To grind out a win like that is great for us,” Bohanna said.
“We gave the Dogs a little bit at the end there, but we’re sticking to what we’ve been working on for the last few months and that’s really showing out on the field.
“Maybe 12 months ago that wouldn’t have gone our way. We’re just going to keep getting better if we can keep doing that.
“For us to grow on that just shows the progress we’re making.”
The next test doesn’t get any easier with the high-flying, undefeated Adelaide Crows welcoming the SUNS to Unley Oval on Sunday afternoon.
It’s the kind of contest Gold Coast wants to be involved in, eager to put their game style to the test against the AFLW’s top sides.
“They’ve obviously been at the top of the competition for years now,” Bohanna continued.
“We’ve had a win on the road and we’re back on the road again this week. We’re pretty experienced in travelling together now… it’s a chance to play the style of footy we want to play and test it against a side like the Crows will be really good.”
The clash will also bring about a milestone for the SUNS captain as she reaches 25 AFLW games.
The milestone, which she’ll also share with midfield star Charlie Rowbottom, has come as quick as possible with the pair both having played every game since Head Coach Cameron Joyce took the reins ahead of Season Six.
“It’s gone pretty quickly to be honest. Two years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d even be here.
“To have the consistency of playing every game we’ve had in the last couple of seasons since arriving, with Chuck as well, is something we’re definitely proud of.”