Despite a performance to be proud of by the Gold Coast SUNS on Sunday afternoon at Metricon Stadium, Senior Coach Stuart Dew says giving up a goal and the lead in the dying minutes “stings”.

The SUNS pushed Essendon the entire match and even led at the quarter time and half time breaks, before having to mount a comeback in the final quarter to snatch the lead with under two minutes remaining. 

In his press conference post-match, Dew unpacked the final passages of play where the Bombers were able to score off an entry inside 50.

“I think we let them out of a stoppage and missed a couple of tackles which was a feature unfortunately of our game,” he said.

“A bit of that was Essendon’s ability to get their arms free no doubt. 

“There wasn’t enough pressure on the ball but we can learn from that.

“In the end they got the job done. 

“The last goal (Essendon kicked) we took a punt from the centre bounce but the one before that stings.” 

Overall, Dew was satisfied with his side’s efforts on the day and has stressed the importance of keeping the run going in the final matches of the season.

“To be able to shift the ball and hit the scoreboard was really pleasing,” he said. 

“We really want to make sure that we finish this year off.

“We want to break through for a win, no doubt. 

“We were that close tonight against a team that’s entrenched in the top eight so we have to take belief in that.” 

The loss was Gold Coast’s seventh game decided by 10 points or less, with a 3-4 record in those games.

Dew said it was a pleasing stat which showed the game-plan was making the side more competitive.

“Nearly 50% of our games (have been decided by 10 points or less) which is great,” he said. 

“It’s good experience for them, we can learn from them.

“We’ve been able to get over the line in some, three of them, but not get it done in others. 

“I think the main message is to be in those positions, you’d much rather get your heart broken than the game just peter out.

“That will hold us in good stead.”