In what was a tight tussle for the SUNS against the Blues on Saturday night, there were some interesting takeaways heading into Round 5.

SUNS Media have broken down some of the talking points below.

Butchering the ball:

Stuart Dew said it bluntly post-game: “we butchered the ball”. While the SUNS were competitive and in the game until the end, it was turnovers which proved too costly and gave the Blues an easy pressure release when the SUNS were on the offensive press.

Some of it came down to execution, while others were more decision-making errors in the heat of the moment. With the SUNS’ fast and exciting brand of football, it’s something Dew has said the team are focussed on improving and getting right for Round 5 against the Bulldogs.00

Nick Holman’s defensive role:

After the unfortunate concussion suffered by Sean Lemmens shortly prior to half-time, it was Nick Holman who went back to fill the void in defence. The SUNS Mr Fix-It has been a valuable player so far this season with his versatility, and performed well when given a sudden role-change mid-game.

With Lemmens ruled out for Round 5, Holman could be the man the coaches turn to as they look to fill that void in the backline. The strength of Holman’s game is his pressure, whether it’s harassing defenders in the forward half or doing the inverse as a defender himself, he’s more than up to the task if required.

SUNS brand of football crucial:

Through the four games so far this season, the SUNS have established themselves as the number one ranked team in the competition for tackles. It’s a non-negotiable for the team that is a result of effort and intent on gameday.

Leaders in this area are Hugh Greenwood and Touk Miller who are ranked first and second in the competition respectively for tackles, while the SUNS can also boast to have five of the top 25 tacklers in the league. It’s an area of the game the SUNS need to be dominant in again in Round 5 as the team looks to restrict the influence of the Bulldogs’ in-form goalkickers Josh Bruce and Aaron Naughton. If the pressure up the field is enough, it can affect the quality of the Dogs’ ball movement which makes life harder for the key forwards.