Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade’s disappointment following the Suns’ 61-point AFL opening round win over Essendon is a sign of the standards he’s imposing on the club.
Suns’ defender Steven May says Eade was “very angry” with his team after the victory over the undermanned Bombers, who are tipped as wooden spoon favourites following season-long doping bans against several of their leading stars.
May says Eade was furious with his team for easing off against the Bombers, accusing them of playing “Twenty20 footy” in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s match.
“He preaches about playing four-quarter football and we played two and a half quarters on the weekend,” May said.
“We got what we deserved from him.
“He coaches us as if we’re going to play top eight football, he’s not coaching us just to get by and get a win.
“We’re happy he keeps us to that standard. The boys want to make up for that.”
While Eade was upset with his team’s lack of ruthlessness, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was embarrassed by the Dockers’ round one effort.
Last year’s minor premiers could only score 38 points as they were humbled by a rampant Western Bulldogs, with Lyon describing his team’s efforts as a “Sunday stroll”.
May says there’s no doubt Lyon – a renowned perfectionist – will be firing his team up for when they host the Suns this weekend.
The Suns star says the Bulldogs win was both a blessing and a curse as Gold Coast attempt to pick up their first win in Perth – having suffered seven defeats on their past seven trips west.
“It shows they’re beatable but also they’re a terrific outfit and Ross Lyon will have them fired up for their first home game of the year,” he said.
“He wasn’t happy with how they played on the weekend but also if we can emulate some of the pressures that the Bulldogs were able to bring to the Dockers, it shows they are beatable and we’re up to that challenge.”
The game will also feature an interesting sub-plot with dual Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett coming up against the man who assumed the mantle of the game’s best player in Ablett’s injury absence – Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe.
“It’s great for footy isn’t it? Watching the two best players in the league go at it,” May said.”