SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew has lamented his team’s performance against the GWS Giants on Sunday night in what was an almost unrecognisable performance from what the club has been able to produce so far this season.
Dew didn’t mince his words post-match, stating the SUNS were “beaten across the board” by a polished Giants outfit.
It was a far cry from the team’s best football and the SUNS coach said there were a combination of factors contributing to the disappointing performance.
“We were getting beaten inside and out and were butchering the ball,” Dew said.
“I think our guys in different periods actually got going but it was small glimpses and when we had those glimpses, we actually were able to chain the ball.
“But somewhere in that chain it broke down with skill errors and our decisions at different times.
“We’ve just got to stick to basics and understand what’s made us a good footy club this year. There’s lots to take out of it.”
The silver lining is an abundance of lessons for Gold Coast’s young core.
A good example of this was ninth-gamer Connor Budarick being given the unenviable task of containing livewire forward Toby Greene.
“Unfortunately Toby Greene got injured but Budders was able to play on him for a short period and had some really good one-on-one battles,” Dew said.
“Late we were able to put Noah Anderson on the inside and I think he had eight or nine (disposals) in the last quarter.
“We’re lucky Sam Collins was playing to be blunt.
“That’s probably the reference is as poor as we were (with) our skill level and missed opportunities, we were still in the game.”
The SUNS have been able to use an unchanged lineup in multiple games this season, but Dew said that wouldn’t be the case for this Thursday’s match-up against the Saints.
He flagged there could be multiple inclusions for the match at Metricon Stadium, with medium forward Sean Lemmens the most likely to earn an AFL recall after the birth of his first child.
“We were hoping to bring Sean Lemmens in but he had the birth of his daughter too close to the game.
“He was going to come in this week but given there will be a four-day break and the performance, we’ll make a couple of changes.
“We were able to play five guys in an earlier game during the week so we’ll have a look at some of those.”
The five players include uncapped pair Sam Flanders and Jeremy Sharp, as well as Brayden Fiorini, Zac Smith and Caleb Graham who are all in the mix.