Suns show pride in huge win over Hawks
GOLD Coast showed the football world last night that they stand for something by producing the biggest win in their seven-year history.
The Suns, criticised for their soulless effort against the Giants a week ago, responded in emphatic fashion with an 86 point demolition of the Hawks in front of 14, 728 at Metricon Stadium.
It was their first ever victory over Hawthorn and also eclipsed the 83-point rampage over the baby GWS Giants in 2013 as the greatest win in club history.
"We didn't have a passenger, they were challenged publicly and certainly internally and I thought it was a great response," coach Rodney Eade said.
The question now is how they respond to such a win.
Eade wished he could bottle the attitude the side carried into the game but said ultimately the effort would be what the players were prepared to accept from themselves and each other.
"It's more about getting the leaders to drive this, talk to the players that this is our standard," he said.
"Do you want to be a good side or do you want to be an up and down team."
It wasn't just the size of the 21.13 (139) to 7.11 (53) win but the manner in which they achieved it with complete physical control around the contests and suffocating pressure.
David Swallow's brutal attack on the footy set the standard and he dragged his teammates with him.
He finished with 33 touches to be the best player on the ground, but it was his first half that set-up the win and allowed some others, namely Gary Ablett, to work their way into the game.
Ablett endured the toughest week of his football career where his commitment to the club was questioned but silenced his critics with 36 clearances and 10 clearances.
Jack Martin dragged the Suns back into the game last week with a brilliant second quarter. But then he went out of the game and the side's hopes died with him.
Last night he was a danger form the opening minute when he booted the first goal of the game until the finish.
Once the physical battle was one, the Suns were able to expose Hawthorn's other great problem, a lack of leg speed.
The Suns outside runners were also able to start creating trouble and the goals flowed, Brandon Matera booted six.
The circumstances leading up to the game also added to the magnitude of the win.
It came at the end of a week of speculation about Eade's job and a feeding frenzy over Ablett's form and future.
By the end of the end of the week the entire club's future was being question in a sensational story in Melbourne papers quoting Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman suggesting his state would take on the Suns if they were to fold.