Gold Coast continued its hot form streak with a win against Fremantle in Round 4, but had to find a way to get over the line in what was a gruelling contest.
SUNS Media have addressed some of the key takeaways from the match.
SUNS needed to win ugly:
In the short sample size this season, the SUNS have built a brand of football which is high-octane and exciting to watch. It was a lot different on Saturday night. The victory wasn’t the same free-flowing type of win we’ve become accustomed to see so far from the SUNS this year, but it was still worth four points. To their credit, the Dockers did well to disrupt the way Gold Coast wanted to play the match.
Despite the SUNS dominating key statistical categories such as inside 50’s (50-31), clearances (37-22) and hitouts (42-18), it wasn’t until the final quarter where Gold Coast could manage some breathing room on the scoreboard. As Dew said post-game: “we were all really impressed with the way they just stuck at it. There was frustration but that’s a good thing because we’ve lifted expectations.” It was the type of grinding win the SUNS needed to have in the bank to build the next layer of belief for the remainder of the season.
Brandon Ellis proves his worth:
After missing Round 2 with injury, Brandon Ellis played his best game in SUNS colours since crossing to the club during last year’s trade period. Ellis, a two-time premiership player, was recruited for his outside run as much as his experience and attitude and brought all of those attributes in spades on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old had 20 disposals, seven marks and three inside 50’s in Gold Coast’s win and was a crucial cog in the midfield. He used the ball well with 80% efficiency and was responsible in setting up two of Gold Coast’s scores. Ellis’ performance complemented the team perfectly and shows why the SUNS were so keen to acquire him as a long-term player for the club.
Hugh Greenwood’s role not to be overlooked:
While his role may not be as prominent as those of some of his teammates, Hugh Greenwood’s impact cannot be understated. Despite just seven disposals against Fremantle, the 2020 SUNS recruit played a major part in the win. He had a game-high eight tackles against the Dockers and five of his seven touches were contested. He also had a hand in three clearances.
Greenwood had the task of attempting to contain reigning Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe in the first half and did an admirable job, sacrificing his own game for the team. The 28-year-old SUN is also now leading the AFL in tackles with 27 – that’s an average of seven per game. He provides the big body and grunt around stoppages that Gold Coast needs and is playing in a role which allows others around him to flourish.