Saturday, 21 July 2012
Gutted Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna believes his struggling outfit are closer to being a consistent AFL threat after wayward goal-kicking denied the Suns a win against Brisbane.
The Lions survived a furious final-quarter onslaught from their Queensland rivals to post a tense 8.11 (59) to 5.18 (48) AFL win on Saturday night.
Goals to Tom Rockliff and Rohan Bewick in the final five minutes sealed the win for the Lions but not before they were given a major scare by a Suns outfit chasing their second win of the season.
Brisbane dominated field position and possession for three quarters but struggled to find the knockout blow in an error-riddle contest.
The Suns then camped inside the Lions' 50 for most of the final term but every time the second-year club looked for a hero, none stepped up.
McKenna said the Suns lost rather than the Lions won the game and it was a sign of good things from the battling club.
"That was a game we probably lost," he said.
"I haven't experienced that too often in my coaching career here at the Suns.
"That's a step forward."
The hosts kicked a staggering nine consecutive behinds to claw their way in front 10 minutes from fulltime but threw away numerous chances to stretch the lead, including disastrous misses from former Lion Jarred Brennan and David Swallow.
Even former rugby league player Karmichael Hunt had a chance to open up a significant lead, but could not repeat the heroics of his after-the-siren goal against Richmond in the previous round with his kicking shanking horribly to the right.
"We just couldn't kick straight or at times even get shots at goal," Suns' captain Gary Ablett said.
"We missed easy goals ... it wasn't just the last quarter we missed easy goals all game.
"We probably kicked ourself out of the game ... I'm sure we'll learn a lot out of that."
Rockliff broke the hearts of the 16,550 crowd before Bewick sealed the result seconds before fulltime.
After coasting to an easy 65-point win the last time the two rivals met, Brisbane coach Michael Voss admitted he'd almost given up on winning this time around.
"I don't know where the guys found it in the end, with five minutes left to go I thought we were pretty cooked," he said.
"In the coaches box ... it was hands off the wheel a little bit, just to see what was going to transpire and whether we could find that little bit of run in the end.
"There's different ways to be able to win games, sometimes it's brilliance, sometimes it's about toughness.
"Today really was about toughness."