Gold Coast’s shock AFL loss to St Kilda on Saturday is just the latest in a string of underwhelming results for the Suns.
After promising to atone for their disappointing opening round defeat to Melbourne at the MCG, the Suns made a sloppy start to their clash with the Saints before falling to pieces in a horror second quarter.
The Saints – the tip of many for this year’s wooden spoon – scored eight goals to one as the Suns were played out of the contest.
Concerningly, basic skills went out the window, four 50 metre penalties were conceded in a half and easy goal opportunities were missed while the Saints ran rampant.
A late fourth-quarter surge reduced the damage but the defeat was the latest in a string of recent displays which suggest the Suns, for all their talent, can go missing when hard work is required.
In addition to their 2015 displays, the Suns’ efforts came under fire on four occasions at the back end of last season despite a finals appearance still being in their grasp.
Games against the Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Carlton and West Coast all ended in uninspiring defeats when victories could have lifted them into the top eight.
Suns coach Rodney Eade, who says he was more pleased with the efforts of his team against the Saints than against the Demons, is in no doubt things need to change.
“As a coach and a club you’ve always got high expectations,” he said.
“But I went into the job with eyes open so I know there was a quite a few things to work on.
“We’ll still continue to work on that. If that means the win-loss ratio goes backward, well it goes backward but we’re not building to finish eighth, ninth or 10th, we’re building to finish in the top two or four.
“It won’t concern me for the whole year as long as we build a base, as long as we build a base that we know is going to compete well when we need to.”