The Gold Coast SUNS came back from the home of AFL Football with a 24-point victory over one of the competition’s powerhouse clubs in Collingwood, on Saturday night.
But there was something even bigger that the club was focussed on, in review of the game.
Gold Coast SUNS General Manager of Football Jon Haines said the club was taking it as another positive but important lesson in the journey of this playing group
“Yeah it was pleasing, there's no doubt about that,” Haines said.
“But I think we said last week that the body of work over the first seven weeks now has been pretty strong, other than that first half against the Bulldogs in Round 5.”
“We did carry confidence into the weekend, particularly off the back of the performance against Sydney.”
“It’s another good step forward, to be able to win at the MCG, in Melbourne against a big Melbourne Club was a good step forward.”
In years gone by we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from SUNS sides but as soon as the heat comes on, opposition sides take control of the game.
Not now. The SUNS were challenged at various stages on Saturday afternoon, away from home with a hostile crowd, and they responded.
“That was the part of the game on review that we shared with the players.”
‘We spent a fair bit of time discussing and working our way through.
“Collingwood certainly cranked it up after half time, which we expected and the way the guys worked their way through it, and it wasn't anything special what they did,
“But they stuck to the plan and stayed consistent and worked through what was in front of them, I think Stuey said post game, it felt like a mature performance.”
One of the standout’s on Saturday was young key defender Caleb Graham, who whilst filling in the ruck, came up against one of the competitions premier Ruckman in Brodie Grundy and stood up, all afternoon.
“We're not surprised because we know what a competitor he is.”
“He has got a really good vertical leap and we saw that at the first bounce on the weekend.”
“He jumped straight over the top of Brodie (Grundy) and put it down Touk’s (Miller) throat.”
The 20-year old SUNS academy graduate has now played 14 career games
“His ability to get back and help the defenders, being a natural defender, he understands what they need,” Haines said.
“There's a lot of positives about how he's playing the game at the moment.”
“He's getting really good coaching support and really good feedback from his teammates and we're really confident with that continued support he can continue that form.”
The SUNS will look to carry their form into a tough encounter with St Kilda at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon as part of the club’s Round to RizeUp.
In conjunction with their Major Charity Partner, RizeUp, the SUNS are looking to create awareness, help fundraise and better educate people about domestic and family violence.