The Gold Coast SUNS had an impressive and competitive hit-out against the Brisbane Lions in the AAMI Community Series match at Metricon Stadium on Monday night, setting the side up for a big 2021 season.

In Stuart Dew’s fourth year in charge, the SUNS looked sharp with their ball movement and looked to take the game on at every opportunity.

Gold Coast dictated the play in the first half, but a third-quarter lapse was ultimately the difference between the two sides.

"In the third quarter there was a barrage. We let them in. we couldn't get it out of our D50 (defensive 50)," Dew said.

"We were able to scratch a bit in the last quarter and fight it out.

"It was a good example for us to look at when we're at our best and when we let the oppositions back in, and clearly a quality side, if you open the gate one inch, they're going to come straight through it."

Dew said the third quarter acted as a great learning opportunity for the team to look at what he described as “polar opposite” from the performance in the opening half.

“I think when we had the ball we lost our composure,” he said.

“We were able to win the ball back in our back half a couple of times and just blazed and lost a bit of composure so in that sense the pressure just kept building.

“We weren’t able to relieve that pressure, take a breath, take a little bit of ground position and get it back on our terms.

“As a side we need to be able to do that, whether it’s for a whole quarter or four or five minutes, that’s what we’re working on.”

The SUNS have 13 days to prepare for Round 1 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season, where the club will travel to Perth to take on the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium.