Insipid Suns officially in crisis
SPOTLESS Stadium is the most aptly named venue in the AFL when the Suns play there, after they again refused to get their hands or jumpers dirty in a shocking 108-point capitulation to the Giants.
Coach Stuart Dew's pre-game prediction turned into a bitter truth for the Suns when their midfield was belted for the second straight week in Saturday's 20.14 (134) to 4.2 (26) loss.
Such an insipid display hot on the heels of an 85-point trouncing by Geelong last week has well and truly erased any hope or positivity about this team had generated with their 2-0 start to the season.
Gold Coast are a club in crisis. To demonstrate how little progress they have made, you only need to look at their previous visit here in Round 2 last year when they were belted by 102 points.
The Suns face a major rebuild, focusing on midfielders, and Dew has a task trying to restore some semblance of competitiveness.
"The last two weeks it (effort) hasn't been there, and that's our job to coach the mindset," he said.
"Whoever is in or out is irrelevant I think, so we will do a lot of work coaching their mindset coming into AFL standard games because we know tonight was substandard."
They say actions speak louder than words, but it is the numbers describing the Suns' footy that are deafening.
Losing the possessions count by 173 but only laying three more tackles than your opponents is about as damning as it gets.
Skipper Tom Lynch had a stinker and although the question from the footy world remains about him staying or going, within the Suns football department it should now be centred on whether to exercise free-agency rules and match any rival offers.
There seems little point having the highest-paid forward in the game if the midfield cannot get him the footy.
His poor form isn't helping either. Saturday night he went goalless from eight possessions and just two marks.
At the other end of the ground, Giants ace Jeremy Cameron enjoyed his best day out this season, torching the Suns defence with six goals.
But the blame for the goalfest cannot be laid solely at the feet of the Suns defence. Their midfield were soundly spanked and the Giants forwards dined out on a smorgasbord of opportunities.
Dew declared the midfield would be where the game was won or lost at his midweek press conference and the lopsided numbers proved that emphatically.
The Giants won the clearances 54 to 36, despite Jarrod Witts giving the Suns first use by dominating the ruck duel with 64 hit-outs.
GWS also smashed the Suns 185 to 134 in contested possessions.
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