Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has vowed there won’t be a repeat of Brisbane’s May demolition of the Suns when the sides meet again on Saturday at the Gabba.
The Suns are still stinging from the 73-point hiding handed to them by the Lions at Metricon Stadium in round 9.
The Lions were in top form at that stage, while the Suns were in the doldrums. But the formline has changed in recent weeks.
Brisbane has suffered back-to-back losses, while Gold Coast has won two of their past three matches, with their scalps including premiers Richmond, who last week beat the Lions.
“The last three weeks have been a visual of how we’ve been training for a fair period to be honest,” Dew said.
“The challenge is there to replicate that against another quality side.
“The last three teams we’ve played have been inside the eight and Brisbane’s no different, so it’s come at a good time to continue to test ourselves, and up at the Gabba as well.
“We want to make sure we bring our best, and if our best is good enough to bring a result, then so be it.
“We certainly feel like this time it’s going to be different.”
Helping that will be the presence of Suns star Touk Miller, who missed the Suns’ heavy loss to the Lions through suspension.
“He’s (been) in a rich vein of form the whole year, but it’s also like all players like that to any side, when they’re magnets on the ball, it gives good confidence,” Dew said.
“We’ve got a number of players like that. We did miss Touk last time. That was a real dent in our midfield, but we also think we’re starting share the load a little bit more now than what we were earlier in the year and got some really good depth there.”
However, the Suns will be without forward Nick Holman, who remains in hospital following surgery after copping a blow to the stomach in his side’s 11-point loss to the Western Bulldogs last Saturday.
Despite suffering the knock in the first quarter, Holman – who is set to miss the rest of the season – played out the match in an act described by Dew as “one of the toughest things I’ve seen”.
“For him to play the game out and play the way he did, we knew he was tough, but he’s taken that to a new level and that’s been acknowledged within the footy club,” Dew said.
“It’s an opportunity for someone to stand up, but we also need to recognise the effort Nick put in last week.”