Vice-captain Sam Collins had one word that summed up his feelings following Saturday night’s Opening Round win over Richmond.


The SUNS flipped the script on its performance in its final pre-season outing a week prior to give the Gold Coast faithful a glimpse of just how they want to play under new Senior Coach Damien Hardwick in the win over the Tigers.

The SUNS fired out to its biggest half-time lead of all-time with an 11-goal-to-two first half, eventually recording a 39-point win – its biggest ever over Richmond.

While a goalless third term shows the new system remains a work in progress, Collins says he couldn’t be happier with the brand of football his side brought to the season opener.

“We’ll take a few learnings out of that game but what was important is that we enjoyed playing footy and we executed to the game plan,” Collins said.

“We were good for probably three quarters, but we’ve got plenty to learn out of the third quarter.

“We always knew they were going to come. I think proud is a good word and the ability for us to arrest some of that momentum, reset, go back out and play our game plan was really impressive.

“The important thing is the growth and the education we’ll take from the game.

“[Hardwick] wants us to have fun and enjoy the environment. When we came off, you could see how proud he was in the changes we had implemented in seven days.”

The SUNS controlled the game from the contest, leading the clearance count 44-31 and dominating clearances from centre bounces.

Even when the Tigers cleared the scrimmage, the SUNS backline patrolled by the likes of Collins, Charlie Ballard and Wil Powell had the outlets manned.

“Especially in the first half, the midfield make it really predictable for us in the backline,” Collins added.

“We were able to play a front-half game and create turnovers in our forward half, but when Richmond did exit stoppages it was always coming skinny.

“It’s always an easy game to play when you have that predictability.

“We have a great system where if I believe I can impact the play than I have full freedom to go and do that… It’s a full team system that gives us a lot of confidence.”

The SUNS return to People First Stadium this Saturday night to face the Adelaide Crows, first bounce 7.10pm.

Tickets available through Ticketek or secure your seats at home games this season as a GC SUNS Member.