AFL: Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade talks to the media following a loss to Hawthorn.
GOLD Coast coach Rodney Eade says the Suns need to capitalise on their opportunities if they want to beat the best in the AFL.
Hawthorn edged out a competitive Gold Coast side 12.14 (86) to 8.12 (60) in front of a crowd of 10,121 in Launceston as the Suns watched a potential win slip away late for the second game in a row.
The Suns held a one-point lead at halftime but were punished for failing to build scoreboard pressure as errors crept back into their game in the second half.
Eade was pleased with 90 per cent of the game but not content with the result as he outlined the sub-standard kicking efficiency that his side produced in the final stages.
“It was better than the Richmond game. But at the same time, we can’t accept close enough is good enough,” Eade said.
“There was a lot to like. We really followed our instructions well today. We thought our method was pretty good defensively. Offensively at times it fell away, which we have got to get better at.
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“We just got to be able to, like good sides do, be able to capitalise on their chances. That’s either going inside 50m or going forward and also in front of goal. It is another big step forward but we can’t be content.
“Our kicking percentage after halftime was the difference. We missed three shots in that third quarter we should have scored.”
The Suns could welcome back Jack Martin (back), Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) and Callum Ah Chee (calf) for Saturday’s Round 15 game against St Kilda at home while Jesse Lonergan (illness) and Adam Saad (hamstring) are likely to follow in the following weeks.
Many thought it would be a routine win for the Hawks against a struggling Suns team who travelled away to play in the cold conditions.
But Gold Coast put Hawthorn on the back foot with their pressure with and without the ball in a state where they hadn’t lost since 2012.
The Suns’ improvement was mirrored by that of their skipper Gary Ablett who collected a season-high 40 possessions, including 25 that were contested, 15 clearances and a goal.
“He is getting on the track and training and I think that is obviously reflective in his work but he is winning the contested ball and leading better so he is getting back (to his best),” Eade said.