SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew has made his expectations for 2021 clear after the SUNS fell just short of an upset win over West Coast at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The SUNS looked sharp and daring in the club’s first official hit-out of the year, and looked a chance to come him with the win before the Eagles showed their class in a tense final quarter.

Speaking post-match, Dew said near enough wasn’t good enough anymore and the club needed to find a way to push through for the win in those close encounters.

“We had some really good looks and particularly in the third quarter didn’t capitalise on our effort when we got our hands on it,” Dew said.

“Full credit to West Coast, they cranked up the heat and when they did that we went searching for the ball and their experience and shape behind the ball was too hard to penetrate for our guys.

05:37 Mins
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RD1: Dew Post-Match

Watch Gold Coast's press conference after round one's match against West Coast.

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“But we don’t want to be an ‘almost there’ footy club and we need to make sure that going forward we take these opportunities.

“We didn’t today and again credit to West Coast, when the game was there to be won they got it done.”

Dew said the team’s overall improvement could be judged by the performance this weekend against North Melbourne in the first home game of the season at Metricon Stadium.

“The plan we wanted to execute today, by and large we felt like we did execute, we just lacked a bit of polish when it counted and under heat just a little bit of composure,” Dew said.

“We don’t want to be a club that’s just putting in a good effort and the players made that point that this has got to fuel us going forward.

“We need the response straight away and I think that will be a really good measure of how we’re going - how we come out next week and deliver the same for longer."