It was a hard-hitting loss for SUNS members and fans to swallow on Saturday night against the Demons.
Despite a valiant effort, the SUNS went down by a solitary point to the Dees in thrilling final scenes.
While it was equally crushing for the players on the field, there were still plenty of positives to be taken out of the match.
Positively, it’s becoming a habit of the club to be within a goal of a win or loss in the last minute of the match. On the other hand, it’s not good for the blood pressure of SUNS members and fans.
The message from Senior Coach Stuart Dew all season has been his desire to see the SUNS become more competitive. We’re seeing that each week with these thrilling finishes. Regardless of which side the scoreboard favours when the final siren sounds, it’s an exciting time to be a SUNS fan. Each week there’s a new lesson on how to win or save a game, and it’s exposing the players to some vital experience to draw from when the time comes for the club to compete for finals down the track.
Career night for Darcy
SUNS midfielder/forward Darcy Macpherson had a breakout game on Saturday. The 21-year-old was elevated off the rookie list last year and has been a staple of the SUNS’ best 22 to start the 2019 season.
On Saturday night, Macpherson had career-best numbers for kicks (16), handballs (11) and total disposals (27). He also recorded a career-high AFL Fantasy output of 117 points. The cornerstone of Macpherson’s game is his ability to hound defenders with his forward pressure, and he excelled in this area on Saturday with 29 pressure acts, another high-point in his 25-game career to date. In 2019, Macpherson is averaging an impressive 18 disposals, five marks and six tackles per game.
Defence stands tall
The Gold Coast SUNS’ back six were outstanding on Saturday night. Conceding 66 inside 50’s for the match, the defensive unit were able to restrict Melbourne to just eight goals.
Sam Collins was a standout with 17 disposals, a team-high six one-percenters and three intercept marks. He was supported by Lachie Weller (23 disposals, nine rebound-50’s) and Pearce Hanley (20 disposals, eight rebound-50’s) to repel the Dees forays inside 50 and drive the SUNS forward. The unit has prided itself on being hard to score against for opposition teams and certainly lived up to that billing on Saturday night. The challenge will be for the defence to replicate a similar performance this Sunday against Port Adelaide.