Sun relishes taking on AFL’s best

There’s no goals, no glory, but Gold Coast defender Steven May is revelling in his role as the Suns’ key defender.

May has played a huge part in the Suns’ fast start to the AFL season, ensuring the main scoring threats of opponents Essendon and Fremantle were kept quiet.

Against a Bombers team shorn of so many stars, May took on tall forward Joe Daniher and restricted him to just one goal and a handful of disposals.

The challenge got tougher as the Suns’ claimed their first win in Perth against the Dockers, manning up against Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich and then Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe.

“You just test yourself. I think it’s great,” May told AAP.

“There’s a lot of pressure on you as well, because they can kick bags of goals and are obviously key players but you’re just as valuable to the team.

“All my teammates respect that. I think that’s what I like most about it.”

May believes his own job is made much easier by the stability the Suns’ have achieved in their backline so far this season.

Suns coach Rodney Eade has made just one change to his team for the visit of Carlton on Saturday, bringing in Matt Rosa for youngster Callum Ah Chee.

It means the same defence which withstood a Dockers onslaught will line-up against the Blues.

May says the return to fitness of fellow tall Rory Thompson after an injury-plagued 2015 and the consistency in his defensive cohorts is vital.

“We haven’t played as a back six for consecutive weeks for a while,” he said.

“I remember sometimes there’d be as many as three new defenders coming in each week.

“To be able to do that, you build that trust.”

Carlton, winless despite solid efforts against Richmond and Sydney, have made three changes for their trip to Metricon Stadium.

Irishman Ciaran Byrne, Dylan Buckley and Mark Whiley are in, while Andrejs Everitt (injured), Simon White (omitted) and Jed Lamb (injured) will be sidelined.

GOLD COAST v CARLTON – Key Match Stats

* Suns forward Tom Lynch has nine goals in two matches and will again be the focal point in attack for the home team; a tough night awaits for Carlton’s first-year defender Jacob Weitering.

* The Blues actually hold a great record against the Suns, losing just one of five matches against Gold Coast.

* In a team boasting ball magnets Gary Ablett and Dion Prestia, it’s Aaron Hall who dominates the possession stats for the Suns. The midfielder has 68 disposals for the season including 32 in last week’s win over Fremantle.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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