The opportunity to test themselves against two of the AFL’s in-form sides in the next fortnight is a challenge the SUNS are looking forward to according to young midfielder Noah Anderson.
The SUNS face two of 2020’s preliminary finalists in the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium this Saturday before taking on the Cats in Geelong in Round 10.
Anderson, who has made a sparkling start to his second season of AFL football, says the SUNS will thrive on the challenge and look to capitalise on opportunities they have to take control of a contest.
“Our group genuinely loves playing against the best teams,” Anderson said.
“From a midfield group perspective, we love the challenge, playing and working together against the best midfields.
“As a group, we’d like to have more wins and be capitalising on the way we’re playing because we feel it’s been pretty positive mostly.
“We’ve been in games every week, bar one against the Western Bulldogs, so we feel like we’re in a good spot, it’s just capitalising and getting wins on the board.
“It’ll come with the more opportunities we have to play in those close games, the better we’ll be.”
The 20-year-old has been a bull in midfield and is among the SUNS leading contested ball winners – a key facet of the SUNS game in the absence of a noted ruckman.
Anderson heaped praise on Caleb Graham and Chris Burgess, who have shipped most of the ruck duties this season and says it’s another example of the SUNS embracing a challenge.
“Caleb Graham and Burger have been massively influential for us, just with their ability to compete,” Anderson added.
“Over the last month, our midfield group has done pretty well considering we’re without a traditional ruck – we’ve embraced the challenge.”
Despite being sidelined through injury, Anderson says captain Jarrod Witts continues to have a huge impact on the playing group, most notably with the young cohort.
“Jarrod is a massive loss, but he is still having a huge contribution on the group,” Anderson said.
“He loves reaching out individually. I’ll usually have a conversation with him about the game and the upcoming weekend.
“He’s really big on all the little leadership things so he always reaches out to us young fellas and promotes some things about leadership, how we can keep improving as young players, and improving the affect we have on the playing group.”