Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade is anything but satisfied with his side’s 14-point AFL win over Brisbane on Saturday, accusing half his team of not showing up.
The Suns were locked in a thrilling see-sawing battle with the Lions, until a four-goal burst in the third quarter broke open the game and allowed the visitors to book their third win for the year.
The 17.12 (114) to 14.16 (100) result effectively cleared the Suns from wooden-spoon danger, but an unhappy Eade said Gold Coast still had far too many passengers.
“I was pleased we were able to win with so many players that didn’t contribute,” Eade said.
“I was disappointed in some individuals, really.
“Normally, when you have 10 or 12 that don’t play well, you probably lose.”
Eade reserved his praise for the likes of in-form Suns forward Tom Lynch, who kicked five goals to claim the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield.
“He could have easily had seven or eight. His workrate was terrific,” he said.
Lynch edged out teammate Aaron Hall for the honour, but the Suns’ livewire was incredible with 28 touches, eight inside 50s and five tackles, while midfielder Jesse Lonergan’s emergence continued with an impressive 18-disposal, 10-clearance game.
Pearce Hanley was Brisbane’s best with 31 disposals and, together with captain Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden, Mitch Robinson and ruckman Stef Martin, was able to inspire the team to one of their best performances in recent memory.
There was little separating the teams through the first two-and-a-half quarters, with the lead changing hands a dozen times as Brisbane and Gold Coast, so poor throughout the year, clearly lifted for the derby encounter in front of 19,920 supporters.
But Brisbane’s resolve was finally shattered as Lynch, Brandon Matera, Dixon and Nick Malceski booted consecutive goals for Gold Coast in a match-defining nine-minute stretch in the third term.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch could find little comfort in his side’s 11th consecutive defeat, blaming “schoolboy errors” for spoiling an encouraging display.
“I think that’s all the players feel, really, is the disappointment of a loss,” Leppitsch said.
“The difference is it was in our hands and we had a chance this week.
“We had more scoring shots and a lot of the key indicators were green for us which was a good thing.
“It just gets frustrating after a while, but that’s ok. It’s the age of our group and we’ve got to coach through those things.”
The loss leaves Brisbane with only one more realistic chance to move from the bottom of the ladder – next weekend’s home clash with Carlton, who sit one game and percentage ahead of the Lions.