Lack of leadership leaves Suns wanting in big moments

AFL: The Collingwood Magpies were too good for the
Gold Coast Suns in their round 17 matchup.

Could Ben Ainsworth be the Gold Coast Suns’ next
captain? Picture: AAP

GOOD sides seize moments. Gold Coast don’t recognise
them.

Against Collingwood on Saturday night Sun draftee Ben Ainsworth
stepped up and kicked a goal against a run of five consecutive
behinds to both sides.

A good club would have capitalised on that moment and won from
there. Instead the Suns conceded two very weak goals in the
blink of an eye and the game was lost.

SUNS ROLLED: MORE PRESSURE HEAPED ON EADE

Could Ben Ainsworth be the Gold Coast Suns’ next captain? Picture: AAP

Could Ben Ainsworth be the
Gold Coast Suns’ next captain? Picture:
AAP
Source:AAP

It points to a lack of leadership. The best sides have a pack
of them.

It is an indictment on the Suns that at 19, Ainsworth already
looks like the next captain.

Injuries to Steven May and Jarrod Lyons provided a reason why
the Suns could lose. It became a guarantee they would.

Do you reckon Sydney coach John Longmire saw his side’s 0-6
start to the season as reason they couldn’t win the flag?

A good club wouldn’t have seen the loss of May and Lyon as an
excuse, but an opportunity to win against the odds.

Gold Coast had such an opportunity once before. It was 2014
against the same foe at the same venue and just one round
earlier into the season.

Gary Ablett was the reigning Brownlow medallist and playing
footy at a level no one reached before or since.

Did Steven May’s injury give the Suns an excuse? Picture: Getty Images

Did Steven May’s injury give
the Suns an excuse? Picture: Getty
Images
Source:Getty Images

When he dislocated his shoulder the game appeared lost however,
inspired by four goals to Sam Day, the Suns rose to pull off
one of the best wins of their history.

That moment should have been the making of them. They didn’t
recognise it.

Ablett became their excuse.

And just two weeks later the heart, soul, spirit or whatever
you want to call it was ripped out of the Suns.

The Q Clash loss to Brisbane was the game that ultimately
sealed former coach Guy McKenna’s fate.

The Jekyll and Hyde nature of the club can be traced back to
that loss.

Their longest winning streak since is three games.

The Suns still rely too heavily on Gary Ablett. Picture: Getty Images

The Suns still rely too
heavily on Gary Ablett. Picture: Getty
Images
Source:Getty Images

Under Rodney Eade the partying has stopped and the adherence to
professional standards improved.

But the spirit is still missing.

Thumb sucking Gold Coast players cling to excuses like security
blankets. It is why Port Adelaide banked four points the moment
Eade voiced his concerns about the travel to China.

More concerning for Eade is you can rattle off the names who
haven’t taken the next step since that win over Collingwood —
Rory Thompson, Jesse Lonergan, Trent McKenzie and Kade
Kolodjashnij.

Eade predicts he will be without May for two to three weeks
while bone bruising for Lyon could mean a couple of weeks or
the rest of the season.

I wonder if we’ll hear soon about an injury to Tom Lynch. The
guy isn’t jumping at the footy like he was last year.

It is 2014 all over again.

Under fire Gold Coast Suns coach Rodney Eade left to lament another bad loss to the Pies. Picture: Getty Images

Under fire Gold Coast Suns
coach Rodney Eade left to lament another bad loss to the
Pies. Picture: Getty Images
Source:Getty Images

Originally published as
Suns set in spotlight of big moments

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