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Academy Series: Round 2 Wrap

SUNS TV: Academy - Andrew Raines post-match interview SUNS TV spoke with Male Academy Head Coach Andrew Raines after game two of the NAB Academy Series.
That’s probably the best we’ve worked as a forward group this year so yeah we’re just trying to bring the defensive pressure and turn that into goals which we did
Academy forward - Matt Smith

Despite a spirited second-half comeback, the Gold Coast SUNS male Academy side fell just short in their Round 2 clash with the Brisbane Lions in the NAB Academy Series.

The Lions shot out to a 40-plus point lead at one stage, before the SUNS were able to steady and kick their way back to within 12 points, in the end losing 71 to 83. 

SUNS Academy head coach Andrew Raines said the tough loss could be put down to a disappointing first quarter.

“We gave the Brisbane Lions Academy the first quarter, seven goals to zero, so I said to the boys it’s pretty hard to win after a seven goal to zip first quarter,” Raines told SUNS TV.

“But we built our way back into it, so you’ve got to try and draw some positives out of it. 

“There was a much better three quarter effort but the main thing was that you’ve got to play four-quarter footy.”

Raines said lack of experience was another factor counting against the SUNS, with the Lions coming out on top in the pressure moments.

“The challenge at this level with underage football is believing in themselves,” Raines said.

“Especially the program we run with a lot of new boys in our program this year from North Queensland coming together and just joining that collective and playing as a team.

“We saw them for three quarters they were fantastic so getting that self-belief out there and just going to play.”

Academy forward Matt Smith impressed on the day, kicking multiple goals to spearhead the SUNS fightback.

Rainsey (Andrew Raines) really wanted us to come out of ourselves and play some exciting footy, which we did,” Smith told SUNS TV. 

“It’s a shame we didn’t get up, we were really close and we felt like we were in the game for the last three quarters but it’s pretty hard to come back from seven goals down.”

Smith says a big focus on what the Academy are trying to achieve stems from the values which have filtered down from the SUNS’ senior side. 


WATCH: SUNS TV: Academy - Matt Smith post-match

Mirroring the AFL side, Raines has put a big focus on forward pressure and workrate to get the job done.

“The goals come along with the defensive pressure that I’m trying to bring so that’s a big focus for us in the forward line,” Smith said.

“That’s probably the best we’ve worked as a forward group this year so yeah we’re just trying to bring the defensive pressure and turn that into goals which we did.”