In the second episode of The Challenge, Gold Coast’s Senior Assistant Coach Dean Solomon outlined three key areas the SUNS needed to address when they faced Fremantle at home in Round 2. We take a look at how the team rated in each of the challenges.
Challenge #1: Fremantle’s offense
After scoring a league-high 141 points in Round 1, Fremantle were going into the match against the SUNS full of confidence. However, their potent forward line of Taberner, Hogan and McCarty failed to fire, kicking just four goals between them.
The high-scoring offence from a week earlier were restricted to just eight goals at Metricon Stadium thanks to the performances of Jack Hombsch in his 100th game, Sam Collins and Jarrod Harbrow in defence. Overall the SUNS were well-structured down back and prepared for Fremantle’s attacks inside 50.
Challenge #2: Fremantle’s midfield
While Nat Fyfe was still able to show why he is one of the most damaging midfielders in the competition, the rest of Fremantle’s midfield were outclassed by the SUNS. Fyfe had 31 disposals in the middle, bettered only by Bradley Hill who had 32.
David Swallow had a game-high nine clearances for the SUNS and Jarrod Witts was dominant in the ruck. Jack Bowes and Brayden Fiorini also showed their potential, while Jack Martin was pure class with the ball in hand. The SUNS won the midfield battle in the end with an advantage in contested possessions, tackles and disposals.
Challenge #3: Fremantle’s defence
The SUNS’ advantage in the midfield translated into the forward line, with the ball locked inside the forward half for much of the match. While they couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard, the SUNS had 67 inside 50’s to 46 and five more marks inside 50 than the Dockers.
The club will be wanting to improve on their 7.19 in front of goals, but overall the SUNS had ten more shots at goal than the Dockers. Alex Sexton was his usual goal-scoring self with a bag of four and is now leading the Coleman Medal race after two rounds.
Stay tuned to goldcoastfc.com.au towards the end of the week for the next instalment of The Challenge.