Senior Coach Stuart Dew hasn’t tried to sugar-coat the performance in Round 20 after the SUNS were soundly beaten by premiership fancies Melbourne.
Speaking post-match, Dew said the team wasn’t going to accept the effort against the Dees and were committed to bouncing back in the remaining three games this year.
“We're not going to hide from it. We got taught a football lesson,” Dew said.
“At different times our young list have stood up under heat, they haven’t in the last six quarters.
“We've had the foot down flat out in terms of preparation and training and we don't intend to change.
“We’ve got to make sure we get the helmets on and fight this one out because there’s much to play for.
“We’re certainly hurting, we understand that but it’s not fatal.”
Melbourne are known as one of the best pressure teams in the competition, and lived up to that billing on Sunday with a suffocating forward pressure which kept the SUNS bottled up in the defensive half.
Dew said the difference between the two teams was Melbourne’s ability to continue to apply relentless pressure, where the SUNS couldn’t absorb nor maintain it for long enough.
“Our work rate without the ball was not at the level so then we got pinned,” Dew said.
“There’s an element there of playing against one of the best teams, clearly one of the top two teams in pressure.
“The margin of 98 points, that's the gap between us and Melbourne at this particular point who sit first or second.
“There's clearly inconsistency there against the best teams but we're committed to chasing it down.
“We’ve got to take a fair bit from this game because that’s the level.
“They’re going to go deep into finals and they might even go all the way.”
With their backs against the wall, Dew said the team would be able to find a way to respond just like earlier in the season when the SUNS recorded back-to-back victories against top-eight teams Richmond and GWS.
“We’ll have a look at what we can do to get better,” he said.
“We sat here after the Fremantle, Port and North game probably in a similar position where everyone is sitting there questioning us and how we’re going along the season.
“But we were able to fight our way out of it. So once again, we’ll bunker down as a group, do it together and fight our way out.
“We’ve got three more games to go and we’re looking forward to those.”