SUNS Media take a look at the SIXT Takeaways from Saturday’s outing. 

New faces

An early opportunity for Cameron Joyce to see some of his new recruits in action, and for those players to get a taste of AFLW opposition. 

Of the 2023 draftee group, Kiara Bischa was seen deep in defence, Bendigo’s Keely Fullerton and Coorparoo’s Taya Oliver didn’t stop running along all afternoon while Annabel Kievit kicked a fine goal early in proceedings. Former Brisbane Lion Ella Smith was influential in midfield as well.

 Forwards on song

Experienced heads Jamie Stanton, Jac Dupuy and Tara Bohanna led the SUNS goal kicking in 2023 and all three hit the scoreboard on Saturday with five goals between the trio. 

Stanton showed her smarts inside forward 50 while Bohanna kicked two in a minute during the third quarter with Dupuy having a hand in the lead-up to both goals. 

Tackling pressure

Pressure and defensive efforts were a cornerstone of the SUNS charge to the AFLW finals in 2023 and all indicators suggest it will be again in 2024. 

The SUNS were ferocious at stages of the contest, and while there’ll be plenty of tweaks and developments in the coming months, fans can look forward to more of the same this year.

Coach’s comments: Cameron Joyce

“When we only get the chance to play 10 or 11 games a season, it’s an invaluable opportunity for our squad to test ourselves against AFLW opposition, particularly this early in the year.

“We were able to play five players who we brought into the club at the end of last year, which is important to build that synergy throughout our squad.

“We’ll look back on this game as we do every other game, identify areas to work on, things we need to improve upon, and it’s great to have that kind of feedback at this point in our preparation for the season ahead.”

Tatyana Perry

NT and AFL Academy member Tatyana Perry capped off an invaluable week on the Gold Coast with her second game in as many weeks in SUNS colours. Having spent the week on the Gold Coast training with the senior squad and taking onboard any tips or bits of wisdom, the 18-year-old from Darwin wasn’t out of place in defence.

How good’s Autumn footy!

You can’t beat the chance to take on AFLW opposition in picture-perfect Autumn conditions on the Gold Coast. The SUNS next travel to face the Sydney Swans in a fortnight in a third practice match before pre-season gets underway on June 3.