SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew has implored his team to embrace the learnings from the loss against Brisbane in the QClash on Wednesday night.
The SUNS were outclassed by a Brisbane unit destined for finals action, and Dew said his players got a first-hand look of what it takes to be a premiership contender.
Despite mounting injuries, the Lions were able to maintain a high-pressure game which saw the SUNS surrender possession too easily.
“Credit to Brisbane, their pressure was outstanding from the start,” Dew said post-match.
“We won the first possession so there's an indicator of how good Brisbane were, we were able to get our hands on it, but not absorb enough (pressure) and take territory.”
“It’s a really good lesson for us, and I'm not saying that flippantly but in terms of what's going to be finals standard football.
“When the heat was on we’ve got to believe and understand that the basics are going to get us back in the game and it’s disappointing at different times we couldn't arrest momentum.”
Despite the loss to Brisbane, Dew said the performance would give the team an indication of what to expect against Collingwood on Monday, who are pressing for a spot in the top eight.
“Obviously there’s a gap there in the ladder and the performance tonight so it's a real marker in the sand for us what we need to chase and how we need to be able to perform under heat,” Dew said.
“We spoke about it then with the players; we’ve got eight quarters to continue to improve, to try and chase that style of football and absorb the pressure.
“We had a team that's playing for a top-two spot, next week we’re going to have a team playing for finals which is a good thing for us on the back of tonight.”