Of all the criticism that was thrown Gold Coast’s way following their round one AFL loss to Melbourne there was one which stung the most with defender Rory Thompson.
When people started suggesting the Suns had lacked effort against the Demons in the 26-point loss it stuck in the craw.
“That’s the most damning word you can hear in football, if someone questions your effort,” Thompson said.
“You might question your kicking or your skill or your talent, but when it’s your effort, it’s not what you want to hear.”
Some felt the Suns had turned up against the Demons expecting to win, with coach Rodney Eade suggesting his players “though it was just going to happen”.
The Demons out-tackled the Suns 66-53 in the match and also won the contested possessions 150-136, a clear indicator of a greater desire between the two teams.
The Suns face a similarly underrated opponent on Saturday at home in St Kilda, the favourite to pick up the wooden spoon.
But Thompson says anyone who thinks the Suns will assume they’ve already got the win in their pocket is kidding themselves.
The key defender says everyone at the club is desperate to atone for the Demons loss against the Saints.
“Rocket (Eade), the other coaches, the fans, expect a better performance than what we delivered on the weekend and hopefully this weekend we can go out there and deliver on that,” he said.
“It’s just basically implementing all the things we practised over the pre-season just a lot better. A lot of things we practised the majority of the pre-season we sort of went away from and that’s what opened us up.
“If we can get back to getting our team defence really strong, that’ll go a long way to helping us.”