The Gold Coast SUNS boldly withstood a rampaging Giants in the final moments of Sunday afternoon’s clash at Mars Stadium to head back to Queensland with the four points.
On the back of a tense final quarter and stressful final three minutes in Ballarat, Senior Coach Stuart Dew reflected in a measured manner akin with his team’s performance.
“Obviously, on the back of last week, we spoke about replicating our hardness around the ball and GWS were really good in that that phase of the game,” Dew said.
“We came here to compete well; we knew that side was playing for a lot, and we wanted to match them in that area.
“Two weeks in a row we've been headed in the last quarter and found a way to win, which is really important for our group and our club.”
The one-point victory in a see-sawing affair could have easily swung in the GIANTS favour.
However, the victorious coach said although there was plenty to like from the way his team closed out the game, there was always lessons to be learnt.
“You learn either way so we got some lessons on things we can get better at today.
“Having said that we learned from the Hobart conditions (against North Melbourne in Round 15).”
“We tried to play them (strong wind) a little bit better, we attacked into the wind, we didn't subscribe to just sitting on the ropes and copping it.”
There was no secret formula to the club’s success on the road in the last two rounds but rather a simple recipe based on good training and preparation habits.
“It’s the work we've been doing.
“I know it sounds funny, given the way we played against Fremantle, Port Adelaide and North Melbourne but we're really confident in how we've been training.
“We've done a lot of close finish scenario training.
“I think early in the year we were in front six of the first nine games in the last quarter.”
“We’re keen to run these games out and we're a very fit side so there is a little bit of method that we know we can get better at.”
Young midfielder Matt Rowell was not only crucial in the final minutes of the game but he also got his hands dirty throughout the afternoon against a hardened GWS midfield group, finishing with nine tackles and a game high 35 pressure acts.
“Externally, it will look like a quiet game but if you watch the last four minutes.
“When the game is there to be won, he was everywhere.”
“We know, that's what he's capable of.”
Dew also looked to highlight the efforts of Ruckman Chris Burgess who battled away against the more experienced Shane Mumford all afternoon.
“Chris just competes and against Mumford who is a competitor, he’s physical.”
“He got picked again this week because of the way he competed last week.”
“You can't look him in the eye and say you're not playing when you compete like that.”
“We love what Chris has done and it's a good lesson for guys that just accept the role they’re given and have a real go.”
The SUNS will look to continue their consistent performances against the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium, on Saturday 17th July at 4:35pm.