What’s gone wrong at the Suns? The three areas Stuart Dew must fix NOW

GOLD Coast is doing lots proper this season, but continues to be languishing with simply two wins.

Following a first-up victory over a depleted West Coast, the Suns have misplaced 5 of their previous six matches, and an upcoming schedule of Sydney (away) and Fremantle (house) threatens to spoil their desires of a finals push.

Apart from one poor outing towards Better Western Sydney in spherical three, Stuart Dew’s males have been ultra-competitive.

Watching them intently tells us a few issues, although.

They have virtually utterly modified the way in which they play in 2022, and the basics are there for fulfillment.

Stuart Dew addresses his staff in the course of the spherical seven conflict between Gold Coast and Collingwood on the MCG on Might 1, 2022. Image: AFL Pictures

Statistics supplied by Champion Information present Gold Coast has extra stoppages (34.1) than any staff of their ahead half of the bottom. They are additionally ranked third within the competitors for time in ahead half differential, averaging eight minutes greater than their opponents.

Put merely, the ball resides within the Suns’ entrance half. The extra direct ‘ahead half’ sport has been used as a recipe for fulfillment by many groups.

It is resulting in an additional 5 inside 50s a sport than their opponent, but that is not translating to the scoreboard.

Gold Coast Suns

2022 Avg.


Time in Fwd Half Diff.



Inside 50 Diff.



Kick Inside 50 to Intercept fee



Scores per Inside 50



Shot at objective accuracy



Fwd Half Stoppages



Scores from FH Stoppages



Clearance to Rating %



Factors conceded from Turnover



It is an issue Melbourne followers can relate to, with the Demons going via 2019 and 2020 proudly owning a lot of the ball however unable to transform it into targets.

Conversely, when the opposition will get its palms on the ball, it appears far too simple to attain.

Co-captain Touk Miller says he is “super confident” in Gold Coast’s re-worked gameplan.

“We have a lot of belief our gameplan is going to work, and it works against every team,” he mentioned.

“I truly believe what we’re doing we can knock off anyone.”

However because the ladder exhibits, that is merely not the case via seven rounds.

Gold Coast co-captain Touk Miller appears dejected after shedding to Collingwood in R7, 2022. Image: AFL Pictures

So the place are issues breaking down?

In his post-match press convention following final Sunday’s loss to Collingwood, Dew mentioned he must proceed educating his staff – a true-enough remark, however irritating for a gaggle that has now largely been collectively for two-plus years.

“We have changed our style and it is (education) ongoing,” he mentioned in the course of the week.

“A big a part of pre-season was primarily based on that and it has modified … we have not been capable of settle our ahead line. 

“It isn’t an excuse, it’s just reality. We’ll keep knocking away and pounding the rock on it.”

There are a couple of key areas Dew wants to handle.

Connection inside ahead 50

This one stands out like a beacon and has a few layers.

On the floor, the Suns have sufficient weapons to kick a successful rating. Regardless of the devastating knee damage suffered by valuable expertise Ben King in February, low season recruits Levi Casboult (16 targets) and Mabior Chol (14) have been wonderful targets within the first seven rounds.

Ben Ainsworth (eight targets and eight assists) is in arguably the very best patch of type of his profession and providing constant spark at half-forward.

There’s loads of ball going inside 50 and good targets there, however Gold Coast’s ball use ahead of centre has been poor to say the least.

The Suns are ranked seventeenth for kicks inside 50 being intercepted. Virtually one in two kicks going into the hazard zone are being intercepted by an opponent.

That is resulting in lower than 40 per cent of inside 50s leading to scores, additionally ranked seventeenth within the competitors.

“A couple of times we’ve rolled (played on from a mark) really early without knowing what’s ahead of us,” Dew mentioned.

Dougal Howard spoils an tried mark from Levi Casboult within the R5 conflict between St Kilda and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on April 16, 2022. Image: Getty Photos/AFL Pictures

“Then you are placing your self underneath extra stress than you want.

“Just that composure between 50m to 80m. you have to make sure you’ve got good representation (ahead of the ball).”

Whether or not it is methodology or execution, the connection is costing Gold Coast dearly. The turnovers are proving expensive from a defensive standpoint as nicely, however we’ll get to {that a} bit later.

Benefiting from clearances

The subsequent challenge is simply as obtrusive.

In Jarrod Witts, the Suns have arguably essentially the most dominant faucet ruckman within the League. In reality, the co-captain is averaging a whopping 14.6 hitouts to benefit a sport, greater than anybody within the AFL.

Nevertheless, what the Suns do from there would make you wince.

They solely rating from 14 per cent of these hitouts to benefit, rating them sixteenth. General, their means to attain immediately from clearances is all-time low within the competitors.

Jarrod Witts wins a hitout towards Jack Silvagni in the course of the R4 conflict between Gold Coast and Carlton at Metricon Stadium on April 10, 2022. Image: AFL Pictures

Defensive stress

The third notable crimson flag is round defence.

This isn’t to be confused with what occurs purely contained in the defensive 50 – Sam Collins, for instance, is having a beautiful season – however all around the floor.

Tackles is usually a deceptive stat should you’re at all times successful the ball, however the Suns lay 10 fewer tackles than their opponents every match, which is the worst differential within the League.

It was highlighted by Jack Ginnivan’s elusive stepping alongside the boundary line final Sunday.

Gold Coast has additionally defended its turnovers poorly, conceding 55 factors a sport from that supply.

Dew mentioned they needed to study to “stem the flow” higher.

Though the Suns are enjoying faster, extra direct and holding the ball of their entrance half greater than ever, the above downside areas have to be addressed rapidly or Dew dangers watching one other season slip away earlier than it actually will get going.

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