Suns coach says his players did not take their chances

The scoreboard may have looked horribly lopsided, but Gold Coast Suns coach Guy McKenna was quick to admit his side had actually had its share of opportunities against a rampant Hawthorn on the way to a 99-point drubbing.

McKenna pointed out that in the third quarter, the Suns went inside their forward 50 on 20 occasions to the Hawks' nine. Yet this was not reflected on the scoreboard, the Hawks kicking five goals to the Suns' one.

"Clearly their polish was a lot better than ours," McKenna said. "Hawthorn gave us a chance, we just clearly didn't take it.

"In the second quarter, the inside 50 count went against us. We've got a young defence, but we seemed to hang on OK. Our third quarter, we turned that around; we just couldn't score."

One statistic was particularly galling. Forwards Tom Lynch and Sam Day, both of whom had been so effective against Brisbane last week, had no impact on the match. "I think we took two marks inside our forward 50 in 54 entries," McKenna said. "There were a few wow moments, that's for sure."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson would have been forgiven a few of those moments himself after his side's second exceptional performance in a row.

"We didn't anticipate we were going to win by the margin that we did," he said. "Full credit to our boys; they're tough conditions to play up here and they've got a really good record at this stadium, too, in more recent times.

"The game was hot and pretty open early, it was pretty high scoring, but to restrict them to three goals after quarter-time was a pretty comprehensive effort right across the ground.

"It wasn't like they didn't have their chances. We were just able to repel a lot of their attacks; we set up really smartly behind the ball and got some experienced players down there that work really well together," he said.

But Clarkson was otherwise unflappable, refusing to be drawn into questions about his side's form. "There's lots of twists and turns in an AFL football season. It's an endurance game," he said dryly.

"We're playing OK at the minute, but you know, we weren't so good two weeks ago, either. The last two weeks have been really impressive, in the Freo game and this game, but it was only two weeks ago – even the Brisbane game in round one – we were a little bit scratchy.

"We'll just play it week by week, and just add up the wins at the end of the year and just hope we've got enough to qualify for top four and give us a good chance to go deep into September from there. We've still got a long way to go."

This story Suns coach says his players did not take their chances first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.